A notorious commander of the FARC rebel group, Colombia’s largest, now has another sentence to answer for in the event that he is one day captured, reported national media Monday. Hernan Dario Velasquez, alias “El Paisa,” was sentenced to 30 years and 10 months in prison for the murder of the mayor of Rivera, a municipality in the southwestern state of Huila, in 2004. The latest prison term will tack onto a long list of convictions for the commander of the FARC’s Teofilo Forero Front, ranging from kidnapping, to terrorism, to aggravated murder.
In the latest case brought against him, El Paisa was accused of ordering and financing the murder of Luis Humberto Trujillo, the mayor of Rivera at the time. Adolfo Toledo, alias “Dolar,” confessed to shooting the mayor outside his home in 2004, and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
During the trial, however, Toledo claimed he had acted at El Paisa’s behest, claiming that El Paisa received some $240,000 from outside forces to plan the assassination.
Now, El Paisa, who at no point presented himself for trial, has been found guilty of the murder, which was not his first. El Paisa reportedly got his start as a hitman in Medellin, from which he draws his nickname.
On the 16th June 2011, the Penal Court of the High Court of Bogota found El Paisa guilty of the bombing of the club El Nogal in 2003. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, responsible for the crimes of terrorism, aggravated homicide and attempted aggravated homicide.
In 2010, he was named third acting commander in the FARC’s Southern Bloc, and has since been accused of planning an attack against the ex-president Alvaro Uribe, Attorney General Eduardo Montealegre, and former Minister of the Interior Fernando Londoño.
El Paisa has become the subject of controversy recently, as it has been rumored that the convicted murderer will join the FARC’s delegation to ongoing peace talks with the Colombian government, held in Havana since November 2012.