Two former paramilitary members were sentenced to 30 years in prison for the 1990 massacre of 43 people in Pueblo Bello, north Colombia, the Prosecutor General’s Office reported Wednesday.
More than 20 years after the massacre occurred, the Prosecutor General’s Office convicted the two men, Manuel Arturo Salom Rueda, alias “William,” the former bodyguard of paramilitary boss Fidel Castaño, and Jesus Aníbal García Hoyos, alias “Marlon.”
The sentence, given by an Antioquia judge, was based on an investigation by a prosecutor from the National Human Rights Unit, in conjunction with international humanitarian law. The men were convicted and sentenced for the crimes of multiple aggravated homicide and kidnapping, premeditated criminal activity, and terrorism.
The events surrounding the case began on 14 January 1990, when a group of armed men burst into the small town in the municipality of Turbo, in the Antioquia department, dragged the victims from their houses, and took them to a farm called “Las Tangas,” located in Valencia, Cordoba, and owned by the Castaño family.
It is likely that this is where the 43 victims were killed, according to the statement, although the Prosecutor General’s Office has so far managed to find the remains of only six of the victims; the other 37 remain “disappeared.”
The prosecutor for the case is searching for further evidence regarding the crime of forced disappearance.