A Colombian judge convicted 44 former members of the Popular Revolutionary Antiterrorist Army (ERPAC), a neo-paramilitary organization mostly active in southeast Colombia, reported Colombian newspaper El Tiempo Friday.
The men were sentenced to nine years in prison for conspiracy and the trafficking and posession of arms. The group was tried in Cundinamarca, a department in central Colombia, after being turned over to authorities in December 2011.
272 members of the neo-paramilitary group haved turned themselves over to authorities, according to El Tiempo. The prosecutor general has captured 201 other members and convicted 65 for their involvement with the criminal organization.
More trials for ERPAC members are set for next week.
There are allegedly 71 more members of the group wanted by Colombian authorities.
ERPAC was formed in 2006 by former AUC commander Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, alias “Cuchillo,” who integrated other members of the AUC’s Bloque Centaurus into his private army primarily dedicated to drug trafficking in the departartments of Meta and Casanare. Cuchillo was killed by armed forces in December 2010.