Mancuso asks to be repatriated

Extradited paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso sent a letter to Colombian Congress asking to be repatriated. Mancuso claimed the Justice and Peace process is failing because the truth is being lost.

Mancuso asked Congress to “repatriate the extradited [paramilitaries] who are willing to work towards justice and peace by clarifying the crimes committed by illegal armed groups, because we have confessed to drug trafficking in the U.S. but from here the authorities will not allow us meet the requirements of Colombian law nor the victims. Allow us to participate in the process via videoconference…”.

Mancuso believes that the Justice and Peace process – in which members of illegal armed groups collaborate with authorities in exchange for reduced sentences – will not succeed while key extradited paramilitary leaders remain in the U.S.

The former paramilitary leader accused the Colombian government of “preventing the truth from being known,” in his letter to Congress, published in El Espectador.

Mancuso has stated previously that he and others were extradited to the U.S. to shut them up and stop the truth from coming out.

In the letter Mancuso proposed the creation of an international commission “to bring to light the truth that some are trying to hide or disguise”. He clarified the objective of the repatriation of the paramilitaries extradited to the U.S. would be “to clear up the crimes committed by them”.

Mancuso led the demobilization of paramilitary organization the AUC in 2006 and 2007. His organization is suspected of tens of thousands of crimes against humanity, including thousands of murders, rape and forced displacement.

He was one of 12 paramilitary leaders extradited to the U.S. in May 2008. He is awaiting trial in a U.S. jail for drug related crimes.

In the U.S. Mancuso could potentially be sentenced to decades in jail. If he were to be sentenced under the Justice and Peace process in Colombia, his maximum sentence would be eight years.

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