Paramilitaries constructed ovens specifically to incinerate the
bodies of their victims, according to a testimony by a Colombian
ex-paramilitary leader that recalls the infamous ‘showers’ of Nazi
The chilling revelation was the latest in a Justice and Peace process that has brought to public light the depravity of the country’s illegal paramilitaries, including testimony by one ex-leader some months ago that after one massacre his men played soccer with the decapitated heads of their victims.
Jorge Iván Laverde Zapata, a.k.a. ‘El Iguano,’ said 28 bodies were incinerated in the first oven, built in 2001 in a municipality near the Venezuelan border in the department Norte del Santander, reported Spanish press agency EFE.
In 2003, another oven was constructed in the same region, where more than 70 bodies were incinerated, reported German press agency DPA.
In total, some 100 victims were incinerated in an effort to destroy evidence. The former United Self Defense Forces of Colombia leader accused the victims of being members of guerrilla groups, extortionists and child molestors, wrote EFE.
In September 2007, ex-paramilitary chief testified the block he commanded was responsible for more than 2,000 murders, according to DPA.
At press time, the story was not found on the homepages of the websites of the country’s three major newspapers–El Tiempo, El Espectador and El Colombiano.