Incident Summary:

1/17/2001: Approximately 50 suspected members of a right-wing paramilitary group killed 25 men in Chengue village, Sucre, Colombia. The assailants entered the village at 3 am, gathered together 25 of the local male villagers, and killed them with gunfire and machetes. The gunmen then set fire to approximately 30 homes and abducted seven of the remaining male villagers. Witnesses report that the assailants accused the victims of collaborating with leftist guerrillas.




South America

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
The village of Chengue in northern Colombia

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Male villagers living in Chengue
Nationality of Target Colombia
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 7
US Hostages 0
Outcome Unknown
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Melee Knife or Other Sharp Object
Incendiary Arson/Fire
Weapon Details
The victims were shot and hacked to death with machetes and homes were set on fire
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information One sources states that the victims were hacked to death with machetes while another sources states they were also shot.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Right-Wing Paramilitaries No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 50
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 25 Fatalities
Total Number of Fatalities 25
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured Unknown
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Luis Jaime Acosta, "Update 1 - Machete massacre as Colombia tries to revive talks," Reuters, January 17, 2001."
"25 Colombians slain in presumed paramilitary attack," Agence France-Presse, January 17, 2001."
"Michael Easterbrook, "Suspected rightists kill 25 with machetes before torching village," Associated Press, January 17, 2001."