Founder and former leader of the AUC, the now deceased Carlos Castaño, was involved in a deadly Bogota car bombing in 1989 that was ordered by Pablo Escobar, former paramilitary warlord ‘El Aleman’ told prosecutors.
In an ongoing testimony under Colombia’s Peace and Justice Law, Freddy ‘El Aleman’ Rendon Herrera said Castaño was playing several different sides during the Escobar years, one of the most violent periods in Colombian history.
Herrera now reveals that Castaño was involved in the attack in 1989, where a car bomb loaded with more than 500 kilos of explosives detonated outside the DAS central institutional headquarters in Bogota, killing 50 and wounding 600, according to the paramilitary research organization Verdad Abierta.com, reporting on the Peace and Justice Law hearings.
According to Herrera, Castaño on several occaisions explained how he was playing two camps in the conflict: one side had ties to Escobar’s Medellin Carte, and the other was very close to his brother Fidel Castaño, who founded the organization ‘Persecuted by Pablo Escobar’, known as “Los Pepes.”
Los Pepes formed in the late 80s, in which members of the rivaling Cali Cartel and paramilitary groups converged forces to launch violent reprisals against anyone associated with Escobar and his Medellin Cartel.
“I sat with Castaño several times and he told me many stories, many disloyalty. And he told me things like, he had participated directly in the bombing of the DAS with people of the Medellin cartel, “said Herrera, himself a former paramilitary leader who operated in Antioquia and Chocó Urabá between 1995 and 15 August 2006. He was later demobilized with his men in the town of Unguia, Choco.
Herrera’s to explain Castaño’s dual role had to do with pressure at the time doing was coming back to DAS director Miguel Maza Marquez for support to ‘Los Pepes’.
“Maza Marquez did not want to join the war against Pablo Escobar, although Castano told me it was very close to the Cali cartel,” Herrera said.
Marquez himself was arrested earlier this year for suspected involvement in the murder of presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan in 1989.
In other news associated with the new Herrera testimony, Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office reported Wednesday that Herrera admitted to smuggling 3,000 AK-47 rifles and 5 million rounds of ammunition into the Country in 2001 on the Otterloo, a Panamanian-flagged ship.