A Colombian tribunal has stripped a former paramilitary leader from legal protections he received after demobilization. According to prosecutors, “Macaco” has not kept his end of the bargain.
Under the 2005 Justice and Peace law, members who gave up their arms were eligible to receive diminished sentencing for crimes committed against the state. The law established an eight year maximum ceiling for such previous crimes and was instituted as an incentive for paramilitary groups such as the AUC to demobilize.
The tribunal has been investigating the case of Macaco, whose real name is Carlos Mario Jimenez, for the past several months.
The tribunal has concluded that Naranjo continued taking part in illegal activities for at least a year and a half after demobilization. This excludes him from being able to claim the benefits of the 2005 law.
The AUC paramilitary group demobilized in March of 2006 but Naranjo was arrested and extradited to the United States in May of 2008 for drug trafficking charges during that time period.
He subsequently accepted the charges against him by the United States and is currently sentenced to 33 years in prison. His confession to the US charges served as part of the basis for repealing his legal benefits in Colombia.
His lawyer has claimed that the contents of his confession in the US should not have been used in the Colombian Tribunal’s decision. He said that it was just part of a deal to reduce his sentencing resulting from the US charges.
The lawyer also denies further accusations by prosecutors that Naranja has kept his money secret in an attempt to evade having to pay restitution to victims of AUC actions under his leadership.
‘Macaco’ joins the ranks of at least six other former paramilitary leaders who have been excluded from the benefits of the 2005 law for continued criminal activity.