Fidel Castano Gil was a right-wing Colombian drug lord and paramilitary who was among the founders of Los Pepes and the Peasant Self-Defense Forces of Cordoba and Uraba, a paramilitary group which ultimately became a member of the larger United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.
In the early 1990s, the Cali Cartel waged a bloody war against the Medellin Cartel. At the same time, the Search Bloc was hunting down Medellin Cartel cartel leader Pablo Escobar. A vigilante organization known as "People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar," or Los Pepes, began assassinating Escobar's associates and destroying his property. It also assisted the Search Bloc in their hunt for Escobar. Castano was one of the founders of Los Pepes and worked with the Cali Cartel against Escobar. While Escobar genuinely persecuted many Colombians, Los Pepes was comprised mostly of cocaine traffickers and manufacturers looking to benefit from Escobar's fall.
Peasant Self-Defense Forces of Cordoba and Uraba
After Pablo Escobar was killed, Castano turned his attention to the left-wing guerrillas in Colombia. Castano's father had been killed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and Castano formed the paramilitary organization known as the Peasant Self-Defense Forces of Cordoba and Uraba or ACCU. The group killed members of the FARC, the National Liberation Army, and the Popular Liberation Army. It also killed a great many innocent civilians. In April 1997 the Colombian paramilitary organizations coalesced to form the umbrella organization known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
Castano has not been seen since about 1994, and is widely presumed to be dead. His brother, Carlos, claimed that Fidel was killed by the FARC in 1994 and was secretly buried. While it is possible that Carlos was telling the truth, many believe that Fidel simply retired from the drug trafficking and paramilitarism. Adding to the mystery, Carlos himself later appeared to disappear under mysterious circumstances before his body was found and identified.
Semana.com - Quienes son los Pepes?
Semana.com - "YO FUI EL CREADOR DE LOS PEPES"
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Fidel Castano