Salvatore Mancuso, a former paramilitary leader who has already been charged for multiple crimes, was sentenced on Wednesday to 24 more years in prison for his involvement in a central Colombian massacre.
Mancuso has been charged with involvement in the massacre that occurred in June 1997 in the town of Mapiripan, located in the central department of Meta.
Approximately 100 paramilitaries raided Mapiripan where they killed, tortured and kidnapped its inhabitants. During the five days they were there, paramilitaries encountered no resistance from the Colombian authorities. Although the number of people slaughtered in the massacre has not been confirmed, it is thought that at least ten people were killed.
Mancuso, who was a leader of Colombia’s paramilitary group AUC, was found guilty for plotting the massacre of the town. The judge charged the ex-paramilitary with aggravated murder, terrorism and conspiracy to commit crimes, according to Caracol Radio.
Another paramilitary leader, Hector German Buitrago Parada, alias “Martin Llanos,” has also recently accepted responsibility for the Mapiripan massacre.
Mancuso is currently in a United States prison for drug trafficking charges where he has implicated several Colombian army officials for various massacres in the 1990’s.
The ex-paramilitary leader was initially a beneficiary of Colombia’s Justice and Peace Law, whereby demobilized paramilitaries could only be sentenced to a maximum of eight years in prison, provided they confess their crimes and surrender. However he lost the right to enjoy benefits under the law after being extradited to the United States in 2008 on charges of drug trafficking.