Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office opened a preliminary
investigation against Mario Montoya, former commander of the Army and
current ambassador to the Dominican Republic, for his alleged ties to
demobilized paramilitary organization AUC.
According to former paramilitary chief ‘Don Berna‘, his Cacique Nutibara bloc and the Army’s 4th Division, then led by Montoya, worked together in a 2002 counterinsurgency operation in Medellin.
According to authorities, this ‘Operation Orion’ was carried out by security forces only, but both ‘Don Berna’, human rights organizations and relatives of people who disappeared in the operation, say paramilitary forces were collaborating with the army and police.
A source within the Prosecutor General told Noticias Caracol that the investigation started in May already and also includes former Medellin Police commissioner Leonardo Gallego Gallego.
If Prosecution investigators are able to gather enough evidence to support accusations of collaboration with the paramilitaries, an official investigation will be started.
During Operation Orion, meant to rid Medellin’s Comuna 13 slum of guerrillas, 68 people went missing, one minor was executed, 38
civilians were injured by bullets and 355 of the neighborhood’s
inhabitants were illegally detained, NGOs say.