The Colombian Prosecutor General’s Office on Monday asked the nation’s Institute for Rural Development to seize and redistribute 36 properties linked to paramilitary commander Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, alias “Jorge 40.”
The prosecutor general’s Justice and Peace unit alleges that Jorge 40 was involved in the 1991 allocation of land by the now-defunct state Institute for Agrarian Reform.
The prosecutor general cites files reportedly found on Jorge 40’s computer, which appear under headings such as “list of parcels to be legalized” and “lots to be legalised for the guys,” as evidence that the properties were originally allocated to farmers, but then reallocated to Jorge 40’s men.
The Prosecutor General’s Office has petitioned the Colombian Institute for Rural Development to revoke the second set of allotments and to distribute the property, which consists of country estates and land parcels in the San Angel municipality in the north-eastern Magdalena department, to their original designated recipients.
Jorge 40 was the leading commander of the 2,000-strong Northern Bloc of the AUC paramilitary group, until his forces demobilized in March 2006. During the process of Justice and Peace, the former paramilitary confessed to over 600 crimes, including massacres in Bahia Portele and Villanueva. On May 13, 2008, Jorge 40 was extradited to the U.S. to face drug-trafficking charges.