An ex-paramilitary warlord imprisoned in the United States alleged Bogota’s current police commander “took bribes” from a prominent drug trafficker, newspaper El Espectador reported Wednesday.
In 2010 a former leader of paramilitary group the AUC, Carlos Jimenez Naranjo, alias “Macaco,” told the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that General Luis Eduardo Martinez collaborated with Francisco Cifuentes Villa, alias “Pacho Cifuentes,” a Mexican cartel leader who later worked for Pablo Escobar, during his tenure as Medellin police commander.
Pacho Cifuentes was allegedly assassinated in Medellin in 2007 by paramilitary warlord Don Berna due to a conflict over drug trafficking routes.
Martinez had not reacted to the allegations as of Wednesday, but has previously denied any collaboration with drug traffickers or paramilitaries.
According to the DEA, testimonies from Macaco highlighted alleged collaboration between paramilitaries of the AUC, Medellin-based crime syndicate Oficina de Envigado and Colombian state forces.
In one of these testimonies, Macaco specifically mentioned several ranking Colombian officials by name, including former national police chief Mauricio Santoyo, who is currently on trial in the United States on charges of drug trafficking. Macaco also accused former commander of Colombia’s anti-narcotics unit, general Cesar Augusto Pinzon, of being “a corrupt official” who was responsible for “several murders” in Medellin in the 1990s.
Macaco, an important member of the AUC’s feared Central Bolivar Bloc, demobilized in January 2006 alongside 2,519 the groups’s members. He was extradited to the United States in 2008 on charges of drug trafficking.
According to the NGO Verdad Abierta, 10 former and current Colombian military and police generals have been mentioned as potential paramilitary collaborators in Colombia’s “Justice and Peace” process, which intends to assist the peace process in Colombia by granting procedural benefits to paramilitaries who agree to cooperate with authorities.