Extradited paramilitary leader ‘Don Berna’ says he supported the
election of Alonzo Salazar, mayor of Colombia’s second largest city
Diego Fernando ‘Don Berna’ Murillo, once ruler of the paramilitary drug trade in and around Medellín, wrote a letter to the General Prosecutor saying he did support Salazar’s election and used his structure of community leaders to make people vote for the mayor.
According to ‘Don Berna’, then city secretary Salazar, former leader of the AUC Carlos Castaño and himself met in 2003 in the Cordoba department to discuss the demobilization of the Cacique Nutibara Bloc of which ‘Don Berna’ was the commander.
‘Don Berna’ said his support for Salazar’ campaign was given through the offices of the Corporación Democracia, a web of paramilitary-ruled community centers in the poor neighborhoods of the city.
The extradited paramilitary boss also says he was visited a number of times by Salazar while he was imprisoned in the Itagui prison just south of Medellín. According to ‘Don Berna’ these visits were registered.
‘Don Berna wrote the Prosecutor General he is willing to testify under oath before Colombian justice about his ties to the Medellín mayor.