The AUC also known as the United Self-Defence Force of Colombia is a terrorist group that was formed to stop guerilla terrorists from attacking private and government property. Their principle enemies are the leftist terrorist factions the FARC and the ELN. They occasionally received covert support from the Colombian government because of their opposition to the guerillas. International human rights groups such as Amnesty International state the AUC are brutal terrorists who maim and kill people . Some of their tactics involved chopping off people's heads with machetes and cutting them up with chainsaws. The Colombian government states that radical leftists exaggerate or make up these claims and that if human rights abuses do occur that they are done by individuals in the organization and are not systematic. On the other hand the FARC and ELN engage in systematic terrorism and blow up oil pipelines and kidnap and slaughter rich Colombians and foreigners. In 2001, under pressure from the political left, the United States Department of Defence was forced to place the AUC on the terror-list along with the ELN and FARC.
- Columbia's growing paramilitary force BBC, January 7, 2002