The former senator was one of the first Colombian lawmakers to be convicted for her ties to the paramilitary AUC and considered one of the organization’s main representatives in Congress until her conviction.
Don Berna recently resumed his cooperation with Colombian justice and immediately said to be behind the meeting between two of former President Alvaro Uribe’s closest aides and representatives of the paramilitary drug lord to conspire against the Supreme Court that was investigating ties between the paramilitaries and politics.
“I am thrilled that Don Berna is telling the truth,” Arias told newspaper El Espectador.
“It is not right that some of us were implicated while others stayed out there, quiet and hidden,” the former senator said, adding that “it is time that the country know who were the close friends of the paramilitaries who are out there all plump and comfortable.”
Without going into specifics about the identity of alleged paramilitary allies in politics, the former senator — who completed her 27-month prison sentence in 2009 — told the newspaper there are still many people who electorally or politically gained from their pacts with the AUC.
Don Berna, whose real name is Diego Murillo, was one of the most important leaders of the AUC, an organization held accountable for tens of thousands of human rights violations including accounts of murder, rape, torture, forced displacement and the recruitment of minors.
Dozens of Colombian lawmakers, mostly from the past coalitions supporting Uribe, are investigated or have been convicted for using paramilitary intimidation to be elected into office.