Former drug lord “El Tuso,” who went on record to testify against former President Alvaro Uribe for paramilitary ties, was reportedly released from a federal prison in the United States.
El Tuso, whose real name is Juan Carlos Sierra Ramirez, was released from prison on March 14 of 2013, according to records kept by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Reports say that El Tuso should have been deported back to Colombia after being released, unless his testimony was indispensable to a court case, in which case he may have entered witness protection.
A representative with the Washington Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office (ICE) told Colombia Reports that Mr. Sierra Ramirez is in ICE custody but could not give any more information about the subject.
The drug lord claimed to be a member of the paramilitary organization, AUC, and demobilized under this false pretense via the Justice and Peace law to receive benefits.
El Tuso was one of 14 alleged leaders of the AUC who in May 2008 were extradited to the United States, without the necessary approval of the Supreme Court. The suprise action was condemned by the court, the Prosecutor General’s Office and representatives of the tens of thousands of victims of the paramilitary organization the AUC, who accused Uribe of trying to prevent the paramilitaries from revealing their ties to politicians and economic elites, commonly called “parapolitics.”
FACT SHEET: Parapolitics
In February of 2012, video footage of a six-hour interrogation of El Tuso emerged, where the paramilitary claimed that former President Alvaro Uribe had been involved in a conspiracy with his spy agency DAS, former paramilitary leaders, and relatives, to discredit the country’s supreme court.