Former Colombian army Major Alirio Antonio Ureña has been sentenced to 44 years in jail for his part in the Trujillo massacres, a series of brutal killings which took place in Valle del Cauca, southern Colombia, more than 20 years ago.
The string of murders, mutilations, and rapes were systematically carried out in the late 1980s and early 1990s. More than 200 civilians were killed by paramilitaries and the Cali cartel, with the collaboration of Colombian security forces. Former President Ernesto Samper acknowledged the state’s responsibility for the killings, but Ureña is the first individual to be sentenced for the crime.
Exact years of the massacre and numbers of victims vary depending on the source.
The court ruled that Ureña was responsible for the massacre, and had allied with drug traffickers to form a paramilitary group. He was at the time of the killings the commander of the army’s Palace Battalion.