Posted by Hannah Stone on Aug 30, 2010 Leave a comment

‘Jorge 40’ refuses to testify against ex-DAS head

Colombia news - Jorge 40

Extradited paramilitary Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, alias “Jorge 40,” refuses to testify in the parapolitics trials against former Magdalena Governor Jose Domingo Davila, and former director of government security agency DAS, Jorge Noguera Cotes.

Jorge 40 claims that there is a letter threatening to kill the families of ex-paramilitaries who testify before the Supreme Court.

The two former officials stand accused “parapolitics” – of having illegal dealings with paramilitary coalition AUC’s Northern Bloc, which was run by Jorge 40.

Noguera directed DAS from 2002-2005, and has been accused of having a close relationship with Jorge 40 in this period, meeting with him regularly.

Davila was Magdelena governor from 2001-2003. He was arrested in December 2008 on charges of signing a pact with the paramilitaries in 2000, along with other politicians from the Magdalena department, which allegedly ensured his win in the gubernatorial election.

The Supreme Court stated Monday that “the Secretary of the Board has reported today that [Jorge 40] will not participate in these, or other processes,” W Radio reports. Jorge 40 will not testify in the parapolitics trials against former Congress members Dilian Francisca Toro, Javier Caceres, and Nancy Patricia Gutierrez.

Jorge 40 was scheduled to give evidence in the trial of Davila on August 10 by videolink, but it was postponed due to technical difficulties.

The ex-commander has repeatedly suspended his cooperation with Colombian justice, most recently in January, following his brother’s murder in December.

Recent moves to make it easier for extradited paramilitaries to testify to Colombian courts from the U.S., by concentrating them in the same jails, did not include Jorge 40.