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Texas Border Patrol Apprehends Colombian Criminal with Ties to AUC 

Potential Threat Averted: Colombian Man with AUC Ties Detained at U.S. Border

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A person with historic connections to a Colombian group, identified in the past as a terrorist entity, was detained by Border Patrol officers on Tuesday as he unlawfully traversed the southern-border region, as per a confidential Customs and Border Protection (CBP) memo that landed in the hands of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The scenario unfolded on February 6, as agents interacted with Oscar De Leon-Ramirez, who was discovered within a compilation of eight individuals from Colombia and El Salvador in the region of Texas’ El Paso sector. Subsequently, the National Targeting Center alerted agents about De Leon-Ramirez’s likely history of involvement in ‘terrorist activities’, revealed by the memo.

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Upon investigation with De Leon-Ramirez, the person in question confessed his former engagement with the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), an organization that the U.S. government once categorized as a terrorist outfit. De Leon-Ramirez’s testimony acknowledged his illegal border crossing event, thereby solidifying the nature of his current predicament.

He verbalized that on the mentioned date (02/06/2024), he had undertaken an illicit venture across the U.S./Mexico International Boundary. In addition to his violation, De Leon-Ramirez recounted that, during 2004/2005, he had willingly subscribed to the AUC in Colombia, as stated in the memo.

He went on to detail some of his responsibilities while within the AUC. This involved monitoring the lofty, remote locales of Istmina, Colombia in search of FARC (Fuerza Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) guerrilla members and entities entwined in activities of extortion and trafficking within the country.

Pending legal proceedings are currently tied to De Leon-Ramirez within the Western District Court of Texas. This follow-up outcome was explicitly mentioned in the confidential memo.

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It is noteworthy that the United States government, back in 2001, declared the AUC as a foreign terrorist group, a label that was lifted in 2014. The AUC itself ceased operations in 2006, with a portion of its members diverging into different clusters to persist with activities linked to drug trafficking and human rights infringements as outlined by the Congressional Research Service.

While active, the AUC was notorious for ‘assassinating suspected supporters,’ often involving heinous massacres, of guerrilla groups that leaned towards the left in the Colombian political scenario. This detail was supplemented by the Congressional Research Service.

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During the time period of October to December, Border Patrol agents have managed to detain a total of 50 individuals on their terror watchlist who were caught illegally crossing the border – an alarming increase from the 30 encounters between fiscal years 2017 and 2021.

Fiscal year 2023 saw 172 incursions in contrast with 98 in fiscal year 2022, according to the CBP data that has been compiled over these periods.

A significant event took place on January 20 when officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) managed to apprehend a member of the Somali terror faction al-Shabaab. This individual was later released, with authorities gaining knowledge of his illegal border crossing occurrence near San Ysidro, California on March 13, 2023.

This revelation was part of a secretly obtained internal federal memo that fell into the hands of the Daily Caller News Foundation, causing further alarm and intensifying the calls for stricter border controls.

The Departments for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Homeland Security play pivotal roles in safeguarding the nation’s borders. These events underline the increasing need for constant vigilance and the formidable challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in ensuring national security.

It is apparent that these incidents and the broader situation at the southern border warrant a proactive response to secure the nation against potential threats. Such preventative measures are necessary for maintaining peace and tranquility within the United States.

Despite numerous attempts to elicit comments from the Department of Homeland Security regarding these recent incidents, no immediate response was forthcoming. As discussions continue on the subject matter, the need for steadfast law enforcement at the borders remains a topic of utmost importance.

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