A former fighter in the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), Cesar Augusto Torres Lujan, alias “Mono Vides,” was a commander for the Paisas in Antioquia province. He died in a confrontation with police in 2010.
Mono Vides demobilized in 2006 along with the rest of the AUC’s Mineros Bloc, including Rafael Alvarez Piñeda, alias “Chepe.” With an estimated 80 followers, he later latched onto the Paisas, a paramilitary successor group made up mostly of former Mineros Bloc members, and became the de facto leader of approximately 400 combatants. Prior to his death, Mono Vides was one of the most wanted former AUC members in Colombia.
Mono Vides Factbox
DOB: May 22, 1971
Criminal Activities: Drug trafficking, murder
Area of Operation: Antioquia, Colombia
Before he was killed, authorities reportedly had arrests warrants for Monos Vides on charges of drug trafficking and homicide.
Mono Vides’ operating area was in Taraza, Bajo Cauca region, in the province of Antioquia.
Allies and Enemies
The Paisas work with criminal group the Rastrojos to coordinate drug shipments, and are sworn enemies of the Urabeños, although it remains unclear how much power they still have. It is possible the Paisas have also collaborated with some fronts of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on drug trafficking operations.
Mono Vides was killed in Taraza by Colombian police on October 10, 2010. His death spurred greater desertion from the Paisas, which had already been substantially weakened.