Former members of the umbrella paramilitary organization AUC were charged Wednesday for crimes of torture, forced displacement and disappearance and murder of protected persons.
Four former members of the “Catatumbo Bloc” of the AUC paramilitary were sentenced Wednesday to 40 years in prison and given a fine of more than $82,000 for their crimes committed in the Norte de Santander department. The former paramilitaries were tried in the department’s capital Cucuta by the criminal court, newspaper El Espectador reported.
The incriminating evidence was found by the Prosecutor General’s Office’s Disappearance and Forced Displacement Unit and the technical investigative team CTI. The organization investigated the crimes that were committed in 1999 in the town of La Barge against its civilians.
The four convicted paramilitary were Albeiro Valderrama, alias “Piedras Blancas;” Edilfredo Esquivel, alias “El Oso;” Isaiah Montes, alias “Mauritius Monterrosa;” and Manuel Ramos, alias “Bachelor” who will be serving their sentence in the Cucuta jail.
The AUC was an extreme right wing paramilitary group that formally demobilized between 2003 and 2006. The majority of its top commanders were extradited in May 2008 against the order of Colombia’s Supreme Court.