Some twenty representatives of victims of paramilitary violence were
murdered the past three years, newspaper El Tiempo reported Sunday.
According to a report by the National Commission of Reparation (CNR), “in nearly three years 20 leaders have already been murdered and in all the cases the common element is the
demands of the displaced about what the criminals violently and
mercilessly took away from them.”
The report states that organizations in the Urabá region that are in control of the lands that were stolen during the heyday of the AUC, Colombia’s largest paramilitary group, are trying to reduce the pressure from victims’ groups by murdering their spokesmen.
According to the president of the CNR, Eduardo Pizarro, many demobilized leaders that are currently in jail are trying to hold on to their stolen lands so they can keep them when released from prison. Many AUC heads received reduced sentences and will be free after eight years.
But any person claiming the land that was stolen and was never reported to authorities poses a threat to the reduced sentence of the paramilitaries. New claims could result in a nullification of reduced sentences and keep paramilitary bosses in jail for forty years. “Some are doing whatever necessary to avoid this,” Pizarro told the newspaper.