Extradited drug trafficker Juan Carlos “El Tuso” Sierra has said that the DAS afforded him special privileges to leave Colombia when he pleased, even on the day before he was extradited to the U.S.
In testimony given before a court in the United States, Sierra claimed that on the day prior to his extradition, he travelled from Medellin to Panama due to the preferential treatment shown by the DAS toward him, El Espectador reported Tuesday.
He added that the documentation he required was minimal, travelling using only his national identification card, a driving license, a bank account card and a health card. Furthermore, he didn’t have to be a part of the rows of passengers prior to documentation checks, instead being allowed to pass through customs almost freely.
El Tuso stated that upon his return, he gave DAS officials small presents for the luxury they gave him and as a sign of appreciation for their deference.
Sierra’s damning testimony against the DAS is not the first to implicate state officials.
Last month, Colombia’s Supreme Court ordered investigations to be opened against some 60 soldiers, policemen, politicians and prosecutors after testimony by Sierra implicated them in the “parapolitics” scandal.
In February, he also stated before the court that he had paid lawmakers to meet with the former Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo so that he could demobilize as if he were a paramilitary and receive the benefits typically granted to former AUC members.
Sierra is currently detained in a federal prison in Warsaw, Virgina.