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Colombia’s Arrest of Alleged AGC Accountant Deals Blow to Paramilitary Demobilization Efforts

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Colombia Arrests Alleged Accountant of Paramilitary Group AGC, Wanted by US Government

Colombia’s Defense Minister, Ivan Velasquez, announced the arrest of the alleged accountant of the paramilitary organization AGC, known as “Bayron” or Alexander Celis. The arrest took place in the Uraba region over the weekend. The US Government has been seeking Bayron’s extradition due to his involvement in the paramilitaries’ drug trafficking activities, as indicated by the US Department of Justice.

AGC’s Demobilization Negotiations Hindered by Arrest

President Gustavo Petro had requested the prosecution to lift the arrest warrant for Bayron and other paramilitary leaders in January to negotiate AGC’s demobilization. However, the prosecution refused, citing legal restrictions. The arrest of Bayron is a significant setback for the AGC leaders and the government’s efforts to end paramilitary violence. In March, Petro suspended a ceasefire he had called over the paramilitaries’ alleged participation in a labor strike of informal gold miners.