[Marxism] Rebellion of the Assassins

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 21 17:53:16 MDT 2004


Actually, one wonders if this was not a US government effort at a hit on 
Castano?    He is seen now as a political liability, since he has murdered 
so many people on behalf of the US in Colombia.

Colombia Leader Avoids Assassination Try
Tue Apr 20, 6:05 PM ET
By ANDREW SELSKY, Associated Press Writer

BOGOTA, Colombia - Hunted by an assassination squad, a founder of Colombia's 
right-wing paramilitary movement was on the run Tuesday in a remote corner 
of the country after members of his own group stripped him of power and 
allegedly turned on him.

Assistant Attorney General Andres Ramirez said rival factions of the feared 
paramilitary forces appear to be behind the attempt to kill Carlos Castano, 
a well-known figure who has waged a brutal war against leftist rebels.

On Friday, paramilitary gunmen attacked a ranch in the humid lowlands of 
northwestern Colombia where Castano was hiding out, killing at least six of 
his bodyguards, Ramirez said, citing an witness.

The description of the attack came from one of Castano's bodyguards who was 
wounded in the leg during the shootout and is being guarded by Colombian 
security forces in a hospital in Apartado, in northwest Colombia, Ramirez 
said on local radio.

"What we can say up to this point is that (Castano) fled with two of his 
bodyguards," Ramirez said.

One leader of a paramilitary faction told The Associated Press that two 
other paramilitary figures had ordered Castano killed, believing he was 
trying to turn them over to U.S. authorities for drug trafficking.

Castano himself is wanted in the United States for trafficking tons of 
cocaine to American shores. Fellow paramilitary leaders apparently suspected 
he sought to cut a deal and identify other paramilitary members involved in 
drug trafficking in exchange for leniency.

The leader of the paramilitary faction, who was interviewed on condition he 
not be further identified, put the number of bodyguards killed in Friday's 
attack at seven, and said some were executed after being wounded.

Castano's wife Kenia Gomez and their 16-month-old daughter — who were not at 
the ranch during the attack — were under the protection of the government 
Tuesday at an undisclosed location.

Castano, whose United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, is battling 
Colombia's two leftist rebel groups, initiated peace talks with the 
government more than a year ago and pledged that the 12,000 militia fighters 
would disarm if paramilitary leaders avoided extensive prison terms.

But the AUC's high command on March 31 named a 10-member negotiating team, 
and did not include Castano, underscoring his increasing isolation.

Three years ago, Castano abruptly resigned as supreme commander of the AUC 
and named himself as the outlawed group's political chief. Some paramilitary 
commanders privately wondered if Castano, who was hiding out in the jungles 
and cattle-lands of northwest Colombia, was becoming unstable.

In 2001, Castano stunned the nation when he published "My Confession," an 
authorized biography in which he confessed to dozens of assassinations and 
admitted to ordering the 1990 assassination of leftist presidential 
candidate Carlos Pizarro.

In the book, which became a best-seller, Castano said he began waging his 
campaign to wipe out the rebels after they kidnapped his father in 1979, and 
then executed him even after the family had paid a ransom.   But now the 
AUC's own brutal methods threaten to bring down Castano — and he might have 
seen it coming in recent weeks.

"He is slick and agile, and he hasn't even been trusting his own shadow 
recently," the paramilitary faction commander said.

Associated Press correspondent Margarita Martinez in Bogota contributed to 
this report.

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