Colombia’s former army commander investigated over paramiltary payment

Colombia’s former army commander has been asked to respond to allegations that he received over $800,000 from a late paramilitary leader, according to Colombia’s Radio Caracol.

Mario Montoya, formerly Colombia’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic and a commander in the army, has been given until Thursday January 12 by a Supreme Court prosecutor to answer to allegations that he received over $800,000 from Miguel Arroyave, a former paramilitary leader.

The latest allegations against the former ambassador, who has been extensively investigated for paramilitary ties, are centered on testimony provided by Daniel Rendon Herrera, alias “Don Mario”, the founder of neo-paramilitary drug trafficking group “Los Urabeños” who is currently serving a 17-year jail term for murder.

Don Mario testified in February 2010 that while a senior official in Colombia’s Armed Forces, Montoya was paid by Arroyave in order for his troops to proivde military assistance in the Arroyave’s war against rival paramilitary leader Hector Buitrago Germain in the central and eastern departments of Meta and Casanare between 2003 and 2004.

Montoya has denied the allegations, stating that at the time of the alleged events he was serving as a commander in the Caribbean city of Santa Marta, and had no influence on what was happening in the the Eastern Plains.

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