The “Aguilas Negras” (Black Eagles) is a group or are groups that emerged in 2006 after the official demobilization of paramilitary organization AUC.
Of all neo-paramilitary groups active in Colombia, the Aguilas Negras is the most mysterious and the most political.
Authorities and experts assume there is no central leadership over the groups operating under the name of Aguilas Negras, that was the first to publicly issue death threats to human rights and labor rights organizations after the demobilization of the AUC between 2003 and 2006.
The group was first heard of in the northern Santander department in 2006, but within a year the name emerged all over Colombia, often linked to death threats.
With its manifestation so briefly after the demobilization of the AUC, the Aguilas Negras became the first publicly known neo-paramilitary group, but was later overshadowed by larger neo-paramilitary organizations like the Urabeños and ERPAC.
However, while groups like the Urabeños and Rastrojos have relatively tried to maintain a low profile in order not to endanger their drug trafficking activities, the Aguilas Negras became most active to defend the interests of the demobilized paramilitary capos and their alleged civilian and political allies.
Since its foundation, the name — believed to only be involved in minor, local drug trafficking activities — appeared on death threats aimed at both Colombian and international NGOs, and defenders of displaced families trying to reclaim land stolen by the paramilitaries.
Map made with 2011 data provided by Indepaz