A demobilized paramilitary convicted for his role in the massacre of 59 people in north Colombia was registered as a victim in the same massacre, allowing his family to claim compensation, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office.
According to Caracol Radio, prosecutors are investigating five individuals who the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) determined were victims of the “El Salado” massacre but are not accredited as victims in the Colombian courts.
Among the five is Domingo Ezequiel Salcedo, who is currently serving a 30-year sentence at Ternera prison in Cartagena for having participated in the massacre.
The IACHR ordered the Colombian government to pay compensation to the families of all the 59 victims named in the original lawsuit, including Salcedo.
The Prosecutor General’s Office opened an investigation into the victims in past Colombian massacres after a scandal earlier this week revealed that “false victims” had collected compensation for the 1997 “Mapiripan massacre.”
Members of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), including Salcedo, entered the town of El Salado in February 16, 2000 and began murdering the people who lived there, accusing them of “collaborating” with FARC guerrillas.
Victims were taken from their homes by the paramilitaries and dragged to a local football field, where they were publicly tortured before being hung, beaten, stabbed, and shot to death.
An estimated 400 paramilitary fighters are believed to have committed the massacre, but Salcedo is among the very few that have been convicted.