Self-defense (self-defence in some varieties of English) is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many jurisdictions.
Physical self-defense is the use of physical force to counter an immediate threat of violence. Such force can be either armed or unarmed. In either case, the chances of success depend on a large number of parameters, related to the severity of the threat on one hand, but also on the mental and physical preparedness of the defender.
Many styles of martial arts are practiced for self-defense or include self-defense techniques. Some styles train primarily for self-defense, while other martial or combat sports can be effectively applied for self-defense. Some martial arts train how to escape from a knife or gun situation, or how to break away from a punch, while others train how to attack. To provide more practical self-defense, many modern martial arts schools now use a combination of martial arts styles and techniques, and will often customize self-defense training to suit individual participants.
A wide variety of weapons can be used for self-defense. The most suitable depends on the threat presented, the victim or victims, and the experience of the defender. Legal restrictions also greatly influence self-defence options.
In many cases there are also legal restrictions. While in some jurisdictions firearms may be carried openly or concealed expressly for this purpose, many jurisdictions have tight restrictions on who can own firearms, and what types they can own. Knives, especially those categorized as switchblades may also be controlled, as may batons, pepper spray and personal stun guns and Tasers - although some may be legal to carry with a license or for certain professions.
Everyday objects, such as flashlights, baseball bats, newspapers, keyrings with keys, kitchen utensils and other tools, and hair spray aerosol cans in combination with a lighter, can also be used as improvised weapons for self-defense. Tie-wraps double as an effective restraint. Weapons such as the Kubotan (pocket stick) have been built for ease of carry and to resemble everyday objects. Ballpoint pen knives, swordsticks, cane guns and modified umbrellas are similar categories of concealed self-defense weapons that serve a dual purpose.
Being aware of and avoiding potentially dangerous situations is one useful technique of self-defense. Attackers will typically select victims they feel they have an advantage against, such as greater physical size, numerical superiority or sobriety versus intoxication. Additionally, any ambush situation inherently puts the defender at a large initiative disadvantage. These factors make fighting to defeat an attacker unlikely to succeed. When avoidance is impossible, one often has a better chance at fighting to escape, such methods have been referred to as 'break away' techniques. Understanding the 'mindset' of a potential attacker is essential if we are to avoid or escape a potentially life-threatening situation.
Verbal Self Defense, also known as Verbal Judo or Verbal Aikido, is defined as using one's words to prevent, de-escalate, or end an attempted assault. This kind of 'conflict management' is the use of voice, tone, and body language to calm a potentially violent situation before violence actually ensues. This often involves techniques such as deflecting the conversation to individuals who are less passionately involved, or simply entering into a protected empathetic position to understand the attacker better. Lowering an attacker's defense and raising their ego is one way to de-escalate a potentially violent situation.
Personal alarms are a way to practice passive self-defense. A personal alarm is a small, hand-held device that emits strong, loud, high-pitched sounds to deter attackers because the noise will sometimes draw the attention of passersby. It must be recognised that in order for such a device to be effective it must be in the potential "victims" hand prior to an attempted attack.  Child alarms can function as locators or device alarms such as for triggering an alert when a swimming pool is in use to help prevent dangerous situations in addition to being a deterrent against would-be aggressors.
Self-defense techniques and recommended behavior under the threat of violence is systematically taught in self-defense classes. Commercial self-defense education is part of the martial arts industry in the wider sense, and many martial arts instructors also give self-defense classes. While all martial arts training can be argued to have some self-defense applications, self-defense courses are marketed explicitly as being oriented towards effectiveness and optimized towards situations as they occur in the real world. There are a large number of systems taught commercially, many tailored to the needs of specific target audiences (e.g. defense against attempted rape for women, self-defense for children and teens). Notable systems taught commercially include:
A course in self defense will typically comprise three parts, namely the knowledge of how to fight (which all of the above will cover to some degree), avoidance and de-escalation techniques, and knowledge of the law regarding self defense in the jurisdiction in question.
The self-defense laws of modern legislation build on the Roman Law principle of dominium where any attack on the members of the family or the property it owned was a personal attack on the pater familias. In Leviathan (1651), Hobbes argues that although some may be stronger or more intelligent than others in their natural state, none are so strong as to be beyond a fear of violent death, which justifies self-defense as the highest necessity. In his 1918 speech Politik als Beruf (Politics as a Vocation), Max Weber defined a state as an authority claiming the monopoly on the legitimate use of force within defined territorial boundaries. Modern libertarianism characterizes the majority of laws as intrusive to personal autonomy and, in particular, argues that the right of self-defense from coercion (including violence) is a fundamental human right. In this context, note that Article 12 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
Combined with the principle of the state's monopoly of legitimate force, this means that those authorized by the state to defend the law (in practice, the police) are charged with the use of necessary force to protect such rights. The right to self-defense is limited to situations where the immediate threat of violence cannot be prevented by those authorized to do so (in practice, because no police force is present at the moment of the threat). The right to self-defense granted by law to the private citizen is strictly limited. Use of force that goes beyond what is necessary to dispel the immediate threat of violence is known as excessive self-defense (also self-defense with excessive force). The civil law systems have a theory of "abuse of right" to explain denial of justification in such cases. Thus, in English law, the general common law principle is stated in Beckford v R (1988) 1 AD 130:
Similar clauses are found in the legislation throughout the western world. They derive historically from article 6 of the French Penal Code of 1791, which ruled that "manslaughter is legitimate if it is indispensably dictated by the present necessity of legitimate defense of oneself or others". The modern French penal code further specifies that excessive self-defense is punishable due to "disproportion between the means of defense used and the gravity of the attack" defended against.
The British Law Commission Report on Partial Defenses to Murder (2004) Part 4 (pp78/86) recommends a redefinition of provocation to cover situations where a person acts lethally out of fear.
The present view of psychiatrists is that most people act in violent situations with a combination of fear and anger and that separating these two types of affect is not legally constructive. In practice, however, self-defense laws still do make this distinction. German criminal law (§ 33) distinguishes "asthenic affect" (fear) from "sthenic affect" (anger). Excessive self-defense out of asthenic affect is not punishable.
In any given case, it can be difficult to evaluate whether force was excessive. Allowances for great force may be hard to reconcile with human rights.
The Intermediate People's Court of Foshan, People's Republic of China in a 2009 case ruled the killing of a robber during his escape attempt to be justifiable self-defense because "the robbery was still in progress" at this time.
In the United States between 2008 and 2012, approximately 1 out of every 38 gun-related deaths (which includes murders, suicides, and accidental deaths) was a justifiable killing, according to the Violence Policy Center.
Legal and moral aspects
The Black Panther Party (BPP), originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was a political organization founded by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in October 1966 in Oakland, California. The party was active in the United States from 1966 until 1982, with chapters in numerous major cities, and international chapters operating in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s, and in Algeria from 1969 until 1972.At its inception on October 15, 1966, the Black Panther Party's core practice was its armed citizens' patrols to monitor the behavior of officers of the Oakland Police Department and challenge police brutality in the city. In 1969, community social programs became a core activity of party members. The Black Panther Party instituted a variety of community social programs, most extensively the Free Breakfast for Children Programs, to address issues like food injustice, and community health clinics for education and treatment of diseases including sickle cell anemia, tuberculosis, and later HIV/AIDS. The party enrolled the most members and had the most influence in the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Philadelphia. There were active chapters in many prisons, at a time when an increasing number of young African-American men were being incarcerated.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover described the party in 1969 as "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country." He developed and supervised an extensive counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) of surveillance, infiltration, perjury, police harassment, and many other tactics. These tactics were designed to undermine Panther leadership by incriminating and assassinating party members, discrediting and criminalizing the Party, and draining the organization of resources and manpower. The program was also accused of assassinating Black Panther members, including Fred Hampton. And in 1967, the Mulford Act was enacted by then California governor Ronald Reagan, which put into effect strict gun laws that would not only strip legal firearms from Black Panther members but prevent any black citizens from carrying firearm weapons in public.Black Panther Party members were involved in many fatal firefights with police: Huey Newton allegedly killed officer John Frey in 1967, and Eldridge Cleaver led an ambush in 1968 of Oakland police officers, in which two officers were wounded and Panther Bobby Hutton was killed. The party suffered many internal conflicts, resulting in the murders of Alex Rackley and Betty Van Patter.
Government oppression initially contributed to the party's growth, as killings and arrests of Panthers increased its support among African Americans and on the broad political left. Both groups valued the Panthers as a powerful force opposed to de facto segregation and the military draft. Black Panther Party membership reached a peak in 1970, with offices in 68 cities and thousands of members; it began to decline over the following decade. After the leaders and members were vilified by the mainstream press, public support for the party waned, and the group became more isolated. In-fighting among Party leadership, caused largely by the FBI's COINTELPRO operation, led to expulsions and defections that decimated the membership. Popular support for the Party declined further after reports appeared detailing the group's involvement in illegal activities, such as drug dealing and extortion schemes directed against Oakland merchants. By 1972 most Panther activity centered on the national headquarters and a school in Oakland, where the party continued to influence local politics. Though under constant police surveillance, the Chicago chapter also remained active and maintained their community programs until 1974. The Seattle chapter lasted longer than most, with a breakfast program and medical clinics that continued even after the chapter disbanded in 1977. Party contractions continued throughout the 1970s, and by 1980, the Black Panther Party had just 27 members.The history of the Black Panther Party is controversial. Scholars have characterized the Black Panther Party as the most influential black movement organization of the late 1960s, and "the strongest link between the domestic Black Liberation Struggle and global opponents of American imperialism". Other commentators have described the Party as more criminal than political, characterized by "defiant posturing over substance".Japan Air Self-Defense Force
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (航空自衛隊, Kōkū Jieitai), JASDF, also referred to as the Japanese Air Force, is the air warfare branch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, responsible for the defense of Japanese airspace and for other aerospace operations. It is the de facto air force of Japan. The JASDF carries out combat air patrols around Japan, while also maintaining a network of ground and air early-warning radar systems. The branch also has an aerobatic team known as Blue Impulse and has provided air transport in UN peacekeeping missions.
The JASDF had an estimated 50,324 personnel as of 2013, and as of 2013 operated 777 aircraft, approximately 373 of them fighter aircraft.Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (陸上自衛隊, Rikujō Jieitai), JGSDF, also referred to as the Japanese Army, is the land-warfare branch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the de facto army of Japan. Created on July 1, 1954, it is the largest of the three services branches.
New military guidelines, announced in December 2010, direct the Japan Self-Defense Forces away from their Cold War focus on the Soviet Union to a new focus on China, especially in respect of the dispute over the Senkaku Islands.
The JGSDF operates under the command of the chief of the ground staff, based in the city of Ichigaya, Shinjuku, Tokyo. The present chief of staff is General Gorō Yuasa (湯浅悟郎). The JGSDF numbered around 150,000 soldiers in 2008.Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (海上自衛隊, Kaijō Jieitai), JMSDF, also referred to as the Japanese Navy, is the maritime warfare branch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, tasked with the naval defense of Japan. It is the de facto navy of Japan and was formed following the dissolution of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) after World War II. The JMSDF has a fleet of 154 ships and 346 aircraft and consists of approximately 45,800 personnel. Its main tasks are to maintain control of the nation's sea lanes and to patrol territorial waters. It also participates in UN-led peacekeeping operations (PKOs) and Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIOs).Japan Self-Defense Forces
The Japan Self-Defense Forces (自衛隊, Jieitai), JSDF, also referred to as the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), Japan Defense Forces (JDF), or the Japanese Armed Forces, are the unified military forces of Japan that were established in 1954, and are controlled by the Ministry of Defense. The JSDF ranked as the world's fourth most-powerful military in conventional capabilities in a Credit Suisse report in 2015 and it has the world's eighth-largest military budget. In recent years they have been engaged in international peacekeeping operations including UN peacekeeping.Recent tensions, particularly with North Korea, have reignited the debate over the status of the JSDF and its relation to Japanese society. New military guidelines, announced in December 2010, will direct the JSDF away from its Cold War focus on the former Soviet Union to a focus on China, especially regarding the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands, while increasing cooperation with the United States, United Kingdom, India, South Korea and Australia.Martial arts
Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense, military and law enforcement applications, competition, physical, mental and spiritual development; as well as entertainment and the preservation of a nation's intangible cultural heritage.
Although the term martial art has become associated with the fighting arts of East Asia, it originally referred to the combat systems of Europe as early as the 1550s. The term is derived from Latin and means "arts of Mars", the Roman god of war. Some authors have argued that fighting arts or fighting systems would be more appropriate on the basis that many martial arts were never "martial" in the sense of being used or created by professional warriors.Military
A military is a heavily-armed, highly-organised force primarily intended for warfare, also known collectively as armed forces. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force and in certain countries, Marines and Coast Guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honor guards.
A nation's military may function as a discrete social subculture, with dedicated infrastructure such as military housing, schools, utilities, logistics, hospitals, legal services, food production, finance, and banking services.
In broad usage, the terms "armed forces" and "military" are often treated as synonymous, although in technical usage a distinction is sometimes made in which a country's armed forces may include both its military and other paramilitary forces. There are various forms of irregular military forces, not belonging to a recognized state; though they share many attributes with regular military forces, they are less often referred to as simply "military".
The profession of soldiering as part of a military is older than recorded history itself. Some of the most enduring images of classical antiquity portray the power and feats of its military leaders. The Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC was one of the defining points of Pharaoh Ramses II's reign, and his monuments commemorate it in bas-relief. A thousand years later, the first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang, was so determined to impress the gods with his military might that he had himself buried with an army of terracotta soldiers.
The Romans paid considerable attention to military matters, leaving to posterity many treatises and writings on the subject, as well as a large number of lavishly carved triumphal arches and victory columns.Military ranks and insignia of the Japan Self-Defense Forces
Following the end of World War II in Asia, after the surrender of Japan, the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy were dissolved by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers during the occupation of Japan. The symbols below represent the ranks of the Japan Self-Defense Forces: the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force which have, since 1954, replaced the imperial military. The 1938–1945 Japanese military and naval ranks were phased out after World War II. The self-defense force breaks away from the Sino-centric tradition of non-branch-specified ranks, each JSDF rank with respect to each service carries a distinct Japanese title, although equivalent titles in different branches are still similar, differing only in the use of the morphemes riku (ground) for the army ranks, kai (maritime) for the naval ranks, and kū (air) for the aviation ranks.The pentagramic stars on the insignia represent cherry blossoms. Because Japanese soldiers take an oath to die to protect the lives and wealth of Japanese citizens, they have been compared to delicate cherry blossoms that break easily.Ministry of Defense (Japan)
The Ministry of Defense (防衛省, Bōei-shō) is a cabinet-level ministry of the Government of Japan charged with preserving the peace and independence of Japan and maintaining national security with the Japan Self-Defense Forces.Headed by the Minister of Defense, it is the largest organ of the Japanese government. The ministry is headquartered in Ichigaya, Shinjuku, Tokyo, and is required by Article 66 of the Constitution to be completely subordinate to civilian authority.Mitsubishi H-60
The Mitsubishi H-60 series is twin-turboshaft engine helicopter based on the Sikorsky S-70 helicopter family for use by the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF). The SH-60J/K are anti-submarine patrol versions for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). The UH-60J is a search and rescue version for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) and JMSDF. The UH-60JA is a utility version for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF).Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc
The Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (Ukrainian: Блок Наша Україна–Народна Самооборона, Blok Nasha Ukrayina-Narodna Samooborona, NUNS; until 2007 named Our Ukraine Bloc) was an electoral alliance active in Ukraine from 2001 until 2012, associated with former President Viktor Yushchenko. Since 2005, the bloc had been dominated by a core consisting of the People's Union "Our Ukraine" party and five smaller partner parties. On 17 November 2011, the Ukrainian Parliament approved an election law that banned the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections. Since then several members of the Bloc have since merged with other parties.
The Our Ukraine Bloc was most closely associated with the Orange Revolution and continued to use orange as its political colour. In July 2007, the old Our Ukraine bloc had been reorganized into the Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc for the 2007 parliamentary election in September 2007.Preemptive war
A preemptive war is a war that is commenced in an attempt to repel or defeat a perceived imminent offensive or invasion, or to gain a strategic advantage in an impending (allegedly unavoidable) war shortly before that attack materializes. It is a war that preemptively 'breaks the peace'.
The term 'preemptive war' is sometimes confused with the term 'preventive war'. The difference is that a preventive war is launched to destroy the potential threat of the targeted party, when an attack by that party is not imminent or known to be planned. A preemptive war is launched in anticipation of immediate aggression by another party. Most contemporary scholarship equates preventive war with aggression, and therefore argues that it is illegitimate. The waging of a preemptive war has less stigma attached than does the waging of a preventive war.The initiation of armed conflict: that is being the first to 'break the peace' when no 'armed attack' has yet occurred, is not permitted by the UN Charter, unless authorized by the UN Security Council as an enforcement action. Some authors have claimed that when a presumed adversary first appears to be beginning confirmable preparations for a possible future attack, but has not yet actually attacked, that the attack has in fact 'already begun', however this opinion has not been upheld by the UN.Right of self-defense
The right of self-defense (also called, when it applies to the defense of another, alter ego defense, defense of others, defense of a third person) is the right for people to use reasonable force or defensive force, for the purpose of defending one's own life (self-defense) or the lives of others, including –in certain circumstances– the use of deadly force.If a defendant uses defensive force because of a threat of deadly or grievous harm by the other person, or a reasonable perception of such harm, the defendant is said to have a "perfect self-defense" justification. If defendant uses defensive force because of such a perception, and the perception is not reasonable, the defendant may have an "imperfect self-defense" as an excuse.Rising Sun Flag
The Rising Sun Flag (旭日旗, Kyokujitsu-ki) was originally used by feudal warlords in Japan during the Edo period (1603–1868 CE). On May 15, 1870, as a policy of the Meiji government, it was adopted as the war flag of the Imperial Japanese Army, and on October 7, 1889, it was adopted as the naval ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy. It is still used in Japan as a symbol of tradition and good fortune, and is incorporated into commercial products and advertisements. The flag is currently flown by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and a modified version is flown by the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.Saga Airport
Saga Airport (佐賀空港, Saga-kūkō) (IATA: HSG, ICAO: RJFS) is an airport in the Kawasoe area of Saga, Saga Prefecture, Japan. It also uses the unofficial name Kyushu Saga International Airport (九州佐賀国際空港, Kyūshū Saga Kokusai Kūkō).Saga Airport is located on the edge of the Ariake Sea, in what could best be described as a reclaimed mudflat, 35 minutes from JR Saga Station by bus.Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland
Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland (Polish: Samoobrona Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej, SRP) is a populist, agrarian, and nationalist political party and trade union in Poland. Its platform combines left-wing populist economic policies with religious conservative social policies.Founded by Andrzej Lepper in 1992, the party initially fared poorly, failing to enter the Sejm. However, it was catapulted to prominence in the 2001 parliamentary election, winning 53 seats, after which it gave confidence and supply to the Democratic Left Alliance government. It elected six MEPs at the 2004 European election, with five joining the Union for Europe of the Nations and one joining the Socialist Group.
It switched its support to Law and Justice (PiS) after the 2005 election, in which it won 56 seats in the Sejm and three in the Senate. Lepper was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government with PiS and the League of Polish Families. In 2007, he was dismissed from his position and the party withdrew from the coalition. This precipitated a new election, at which the party collapsed to just 1.5% of the vote: losing all its seats.
On August 5, 2011, the Party's leader, Andrzej Lepper, was found dead in his party's office in Warsaw. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging.Street fighting
Street fighting is hand-to-hand combat in public places, between individuals or groups of people.Unlike sport fighting, a street fight might involve weapons, multiple opponents, and no rules. The venue is usually a public place (e.g. a street) and the fight sometimes results in serious injury or occasionally even death.The main difference between street fighting and a self defense situation is that a street fight is avoidable, whereas a self-defense situation is not. The other main difference is that the fight is consensual between both parties. A typical situation might involve two men arguing in a bar, then one suggests stepping outside, where the fight commences. Thus, it is often possible to avoid the fight by backing off, while in self-defense, a person is actively trying to escape the situation, using force if necessary to ensure his or her own safety.In some martial arts communities, street fighting and self-defense are often considered synonymous.Tokushima Airport
Tokushima Awaodori Airport (徳島阿波おどり空港, Tokushima Awa-odori kūkō) (IATA: TKS, ICAO: RJOS) is a joint civil-military public airport in Matsushige, Tokushima, Japan, near the city of Tokushima.
In addition to scheduled passenger operations, the airport is the base of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Tokushima Air Training Group of 202nd Naval Air Training Squadron equipped with Beechcraft TC-90. There are also UH-60J Search and Rescue aircraft of one flight which detached from JMSDF 72 Squadron. As a result, it is the busiest airport in Shikoku by aircraft operations, with around 15,000 takeoffs and landings each year. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force established the 14 Squadron flying at least two Fuji UH-1J and one Kawasaki OH-6D by mid-April 2010 at the airport.United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia
The United Self-Defenders of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, or AUC, in Spanish) was a Colombian paramilitary and drug trafficking group which was an active belligerent in the Colombian armed conflict during the period from 1997 to 2006. The AUC was responsible for retaliations against the FARC and ELN rebel groups as well as numerous attacks against civilians beginning in 1997 with the Mapiripán Massacre.The militia had its roots in the 1980s when militias were established by drug lords to combat rebel kidnappings and extortion by communist guerrillas. In April 1997 the AUC was formed through a merger, orchestrated by the ACCU, of local right-wing militias, each intending to protect different local economic, social and political interests by fighting left-wing insurgents in their areas.The organization was led by Carlos Castaño until his murder in 2004 and the organization was believed to have links to some local military commanders in the Colombian Armed Forces. According to Human Rights Watch, the paramilitary groups and the armed forces of Colombia share a very close connection and due to which paramilitary groups are also perceived as an extension, more commonly called sixth-division, of the Colombia's armed forces which has five official divisions.The AUC had about 20,000 members and was heavily financed through the drug trade and through support from local landowners, cattle ranchers, mining or petroleum companies and politicians.The Colombian military has been accused of delegating to AUC paramilitaries the task of murdering peasants and labor union leaders, amongst others suspected of supporting the rebel movements and the AUC publicly and explicitly singled out 'political and trade union operatives of the extreme left' as legitimate targets. The AUC was designated as a terrorist organization by many countries and organizations, including the United States, Canada and the European Union.The bulk of the AUC's blocs demobilized by early 2006 and its former top leadership was extradited to the U.S. in 2008. However, local successors such as the Black Eagles continue to exist and death threats have been made using its name. On May 8, 2008, employees of a community radio station (Sarare FM Stereo) received a message stating: "For the wellbeing of you and your loved ones, do not meddle in subjects that do not concern the radio station. AUC, Arauca". A few days later the letters AUC were daubed on the front of their office. This threat was made due to their participation in a public meeting attended by members of a Congressional Human Rights Commission on the 27 September 2007. Here, members of the public denounced human rights abuses committed in Arauca Department by different parties to the armed conflict, including the AUC.
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