Also known as “El Profe”
Date of Birth: July 2, 1957
Place of Birth: Colombia
Height: 5’9″, Weight: 180 lbs
Eyes: Brown, Hair: Grey/Balding
Vicente Castano-Gil is the undisputed leader of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia or AUC), a Colombian paramilitary organization that has been identified by the U.S. as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Formed in 1997, the AUC likes to trace its roots to local self-defense groups formed under legislation passed in 1968, which allowed the government to legally use citizens to restore normality to conflict-ridden Colombia. By the 1970’s and 1980’s, Colombia had become one of the international centers for drug production and trafficking, and the drug cartels (e.g. the Medellin and Cali cartels) were wielding considerable control. More recently, the AUC has become a paramilitary umbrella group under which all local warlords, drugs traffickers and disaffected members of the security forces – in short anyone prepared to kill guerrillas – have been welcome to join.
Castano solidified his position in the AUC after ordering the assassination of his brother, Carlos Castano in April of 2004. Castano-Gil is reportedly responsible for cocaine production and transportation of multi-ton shipments every month utilizing routes in the whole Northern Coastal Region of Colombia. On May 5, 2004, Castano-Gil was indicted in the Southern District of New York for conspiracy to import cocaine and money laundering. In August 2006 he failed to turn himself in to the Government of Colombia during the Paramilitary Peace Process. At this time it is believed that Castano is attempting to select new commanders to maintain control of certain areas within Colombia.