Police on Friday arrested a neo-paramilitary leader who is accused of having forcibly displaced 28,000 people in the north of Colombia.
Nicknamed “Yovanny”, authorities had offered a $100,000 reward for information on the whereabouts of the senior criminal.
Yovanny, an alleged member of drug gang “Los Rastrojos” has been credited with 75% of total population displacement that has taken place along the Atlantic coast. Local media sources have estimated that up to 28,000 people have been forced from their homes in the area.
According to Colombian press, “Yovanny” is the sixth person to be captured over the past year over violent attempts to prevent the return of displaced farmers to their lands.
“Enemies of the refund” is the term given to those who are actively resisting the restitution of land to those from whom it was illegally taken.
Castilla began his paramilitary career with rebel-group FARC, before moving on to the ELN and finally the AUC where he became a man of confidence of northern bloc commander “Jorge 40.”