Former paramilitary leader Jorge Ivan Laverde, alias “El Iguano,” says fellow former paramilitary leaders are suspending all collaboration with Colombian justice after the Constitutional Court ruled that 17,000 fighters can not be excluded from prosecution.
In an interview with Caracol Radio, Iguano said the peace process that led to the disarmament of the AUC in 2005 and 2006, “the way it is going, is going really bad. The concern of these 17,000 men that are demobilized is that they are one step away of being arrested and don’t know what to do.”
According to Iguano, the thousands of paramilitary fighters may rearm “because the government did not provide a real reintegration.”
The former paramilitary commander added that “these men of who they now took the principle of opportunity were guards of the AUC, they did not take part in crimes against humanity like we did.”
Colombia’s Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras said the government is working on a series of initiatives that allow a reintegration of paramilitary fighters into society and solve the judicial limbo they now are in.
Without being specific, the minister said a group of lawmakers will be working throughout the weekend to propose solutions in Congress on Monday.
The government is forced to come up with additional legislation for the Justice and Peace law, the law that allowed the demobilization of the AUC, in that time considered a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union. Part of the deal was that 17,000 members of the organization who were not suspected of crimes against humanity would be reintegrated into society without being prosecuted for being part of a terrorist organization. According to the court, only the judicial branch can make such deals with suspected criminals.