Families of victims of a 1988 massacre during which 43 people were killed by paramilitary forces on Thursday said to feel relieved over the 30-year prison sentence handed down to a former Congressman who had ordered the killings.
“I thank God, like, we were waiting for 25 years to let our loved ones rest in peace,” one of the victims’ family members told Caracol Radio in response to the sentencing of former House Representative Cesar Perez.
MORE: Former Colombian congressman sentenced to 30 years for massacre
The former lawmaker was sentenced over the Segovia massacre that was carried out by paramilitary forces and aimed at wiping out leftist political forces in the town of Segovia, Antioquia where the politician had failed to win mayoral elections.
The massacre was one of the first of hundreds of massacres and political killings carried out by the paramilitaries who would later form the AUC.
According to the victims’ lawyer, Jenny Molina, the sentence was “significant” and represented progress in the defense of victims of political violence.
Perez’ lawyer, Jesus Antonio Marin, told RCN Radio neither he nor his client had been notified of the sentence and demanded the Supreme Court to publicly announce the ruling.
Perez had already been convicted of the massacre for which he has categorically denied responsibility.