Demobilized paramilitaries testify about the details of two massacres in Mapiripan before the Justice and Peace Unit of Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office.
Over the course of four days in July 1997 AUC paramilitaries came from their training camp into the town of Mapiripan, a former stronghold of the FARC in the central Meta department, murdered at least 50 people and threw their bodies into Guaviare River. Colombia was condemned in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the massacre and General Jaime Humberto Uscategui was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2009.
Then on May 4, 1998, under the order of the supreme AUC leader Carlos Castaño, paramilitaries entered the town of Caño Jabon, killed at least 20 people, “disappeared” another four, and burned the town. Former AUC leaders Humberto Antonio Aguilar alias “Dracula” and Elkin Casarrubia alias “Cura” were both sentenced to more than 15 years in prison. However, like most former AUC members responsible for such crimes, they will not serve more than eight, according to the terms of the AUC’s demobilization in 2006.
This testimony are a part of an ongoing judicial process to better understand the crimes committed by the AUC.
Earlier this week investigations revealed “social controls” put in place by the AUC including shaving girls’ heads and forcing them to do hard labor as punishment for what they considered to be “bad behavior.”
Testimony from demobilized paramilitaries in 2010 suggested that another massacre took place in 2004 in Mapiripan, which had not been known about.