Fidel Castaño Gil

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fidel Antonio Castaño Gil (* 1951 in Amalfi , Colombia , † 1994 in Antioquia ), also known as Rambo , was a Colombian drug trafficker and right-wing paramilitary who was one of the founders of Los Pepes and the paramilitary group Autodefensas Campesinas de Córdoba y Urabá (ACCU ), which eventually became part of the larger Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), which he led until his death. He is the brother of Vicente Castaño Gil , the alleged head of the narco-paramilitary group Águilas Negras and Carlos Castaño Gil , founder and later leader of the paramilitary forces of the AUC until his death.


Fidel Castaño was born the son of a large landowner in the Colombian Departamento de Antioquia and was brought up Catholic with his brothers. Fidels' father Jesús Antonio was kidnapped from his Finca El Hundidor by the left-wing guerrilla group FARC . Even after several ransom payments, which did not reach the total amount due of 50 million pesos, his father was not released. In 1981 the FARC informed him that his father had been murdered by them. As a result, the Castaño family became enemies with the FARC and indicated that they would go into battle in revenge against the guerrilla groups.


In the 1980s, Fidel and his brother Carlos began working in the Segovia (Antioquia) region as informants and leaders of the local military units. According to Carlos Castaño, in 1983, at the age of 18, he was sent to Israel on a one-year military course where he was trained in counterinsurgency techniques with Latin American, Spanish and French participants. In the late 1980s, the two brothers played a key role in the spread of paramilitary groups in Colombia. In 1988 Fidel was one of the people behind the bloody massacre in the left-wing miners' town of Segovia, where more than 40 people were randomly shot on the street. Around the same time, the Castaños began to work in the northern Colombian banana-growing region of Urabá, where hundreds of trade unionists and smallholders were killed in the years that followed - often tortured to death. The Castaño family justified these actions by saying that they wanted to hunt down anyone involved in the kidnapping of the father.

Los Pepes

In the early 1990s, the Cali cartel waged a bloody war against the Medellín cartel . At the same time, the Colombian Police's Search Bloc was hunting down the leader of the Medellín cartel, Pablo Escobar . Fidel Castaño was a member of the Medellin cartel and worked closely with Escobar for several years. However, he left the drug lord's organization after learning that Escobar had planned to have him killed for treason. Around the time Escobar escaped from La Catedral Prison, a vigilante group known as "People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar" or Los Pepes began murdering Escobar's staff and destroying his property. It also assisted the Search Bloc in finding Escobar. In an interview with the Colombian news magazine Semana , Fidel claims he was the founder of Los Pepes. Various sources suggest that Fidel Castaño was the undisputed leader of Los Pepes. Los Pepes were responsible for the murder of over 300 followers and relatives of Escobar. After Escobar's death in 1993, the Pepes became part of the AUC .


Castaño has not been seen since about 1994 and was widely suspected to be dead. His remains were found in September 2013 after Jesús Ignacio Roldán alias "Monoleche" - lieutenant of the Castaño brothers - provided the prosecutor of the Republic of Colombia with the necessary information to locate the remains in a mass grave on an estate in the municipality of San Locate Pedro de Urabá in Antioquia. There are several versions of the death of Fidel Castaño. One version says that he died on January 6, 1994 in a battle with the then created Farc Front 58 on the way between San Pedro in Uraba and Santa Catalina. Another version says that his brother Carlos was behind his death. One possible reason is his alleged involvement in the death of her sister Rumalda Castaño. There are also rumors that Fidel was badly injured in battle and, after recovering, flew somewhere outside of Colombia where he still lives.

Individual evidence

  1. Mauricio Aranguren: Confesión. Carlos Castaño revela sus secretos. 2001, ISBN 958-06-1000-2 , pp. 108 f .
  2. Yo fui el Creador de Los Pepes ., June 27, 1994 (Spanish)
  3. ^ Colombia Nunca Más. Retrieved July 2, 2020 .
  4. Semana: ¿Los hermanos Castaño Gil realmente están muertos? Retrieved July 2, 2020 (Spanish).