Three extradited, ex-paramilitary commanders Wednesday accused the former peace commissioner of using his office to order the murders of guerrilla and paramilitary leaders who opposed the demobilization.
Compiled in a letter published by Semana on Tuesday, the accusations add to the scandal surrounding the tenure of ex-peace commissioner, Luis Carlos Restrepo, who is accused of creating and ‘demobalising’ a puppet FARC front comprised of homeless Colombians. He is currently hiding in exile.
The imprisoned leaders of the now defunct AUC, Colombia’s largest umbrella paramilitary organization, Carlos Mario Jimenez, alias “Macaco“, Javier Zuluaga Lindo alias “Gordo Lindo,” and Diego Fernando Murillo, alias “Don Berna,” wrote that Restrepo conspired with the AUC to have all blocs demobilize simultaneously to overwhelm the prosecutor general. Furthermore, according to the letter’s authors, Restrepo requested that all minors among the ranks be sent home “in utmost secrecy.”
Nearly seven years after the demobilization of the AUC, the Justice and Peace process has seen little headway in prosecuting former paramilitaries and the court system is bogged down with cases. A total of only eight former paramilitaries have been sentenced within the bounds of the Justice and Peace Law.
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Restrepo served during the presidency of Alvaro Uribe, an administration which demobilized the umbrella paramilitary organization AUC. The demobilization process has been criticized in recent years due to the re-mobilization of former paramilitaries into neo-paramilitary groups such as Los Urabeños and ERPAC that focus mainly on drug trafficking and extortion.