Colombia’s Supreme Court Wednesday asked the prosecutor general to open an investigation into the latest allegations that former army general Mario Montoya had ties to paramilitary forces.
Demobilized paramilitary leader Libardo Duarte, alias “Ban Ban,” alleged before the Justice and Peace tribunal in February that Montoya received bribes from now-demobilized paramilitary organization AUC, along with Colonel Quintero and General Pedraza.
Former paramilitary leader and drug trafficker “Don Mario” has also testified before the Justice and Peace tribunal that he gave over $250,000 to Montoya, to be used to combat a different paramilitary bloc, based in Casanare and lead by Martin Llanos.
Montoya’s name has been mentioned three times in Justice and Peace proceedings. He was implicated in the San Apartado massacre of 1997.
Montoya, now Colombian Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, denies collaboration with paramilitary groups.
Montoya is celebrated as the coordinator of “Operation Jaque,” the operation that liberated Ingrid Betancourt, three U.S. hostages and eleven soldiers.
He resigned from the army in October 2008 amid the growing “false positives” scandal, in which military officials murdered civilians to make the war against illegal armed groups look more effective.
Shortly after his resignation the government appointed Montoya ambassador to the Dominican Republic.