Del Rio was convicted to 25 years in prison in 2012 for his role in the 1997 murder on a social leader by paramilitary forces in the Uraba region in the northwest of the country.
The disgraced former general is also investigated for the assassinations of anti-corruption presidential candidate Alvaro Gomez (Conservative Party) in 1995 and comedian Jaime Garzon in 1999.
A good example for the soldiers and policemen of Colombia.
Former President Alvaro Uribe via Semana
Del Rio is allowed to await his trial before a transitional justice tribunal after vowing to tell the truth about the war crimes he allegedly committed and repair his victims.
The former commander of the National Army’s 17th Brigade is one of the most prolific military war criminals and a long-time ally of Uribe, who has fiercely opposed the transitional justice system agreed with the FARC to end more than half a century of armed conflict.
The 7th Division is one of Colombia’s most controversial military units because of its members’ involvement in paramilitary violence and the mass execution of innocent civilians allegedly carried out with the knowledge of commanders.
If the retired general tells the truth and repairs his victims, Del Rio’s decision to take part in the transitional justice tribunal could result in his prison sentence being waived by the post-conflict justice system.
Thousands of alleged war criminals, including dozens of top military commanders, have the option to seek judicial benefits in exchange for truth and victim reparation.
Those who refuse to cooperate can be tried before a civilian court where no judicial benefits can be granted.