An ex-paramilitary member of the AUC has claimed that a lawyer has repeatedly offered him bribes to testify in favor of Colombian ex-senator Oscar Suarez Mira, reported local media Monday.
The demobilized AUC guerrilla Libardo Duarte, alias “Bam Bam,” reported that a lawyer identified as Luis Guillermo Quiñones Benavidez offered him over $110,000 to testify against three judges of the Supreme Court.
According to Bam Bam, the lawyer had offered him money in exchange for saying that judges Ivan Velasquez, Sigifredo Espinosa and Augusto Ibañez had offered him legal benefits to testify against ex-senator Mira. The former politician is currently being tried for alleged paramilitary ties, which he was arrested for in January 2011.
The demobilized AUC member said that the lawyer Quinoñes had visited him in jail on various occasions to make these offers. The lawyer had allegedly threatened the life of Bam Bam and his family members if he refused to cooperate.
The ex-paramilitary added that he made a phone call several days ago to Quiñones in the presence of court delegates, in which the lawyer reiterated that he must testify against the three judges or else the threats would continue.
“Mr. Luis Guillermo Quiñones wanted me to say that Ibañez and Velasquez would offer me anything to testify against [Mira], I then told them that I had already given proof of the visits and threats,” said Bam Bam.
The demobilized paramilitary member added that this wasn’t the first time he had told authorities of the bribes or the threats, and that the required amount of attention had not been paid. Bam Bam said that because of his cooperation, his wife and several family members had allegedly been assassinated, while 19 other members of his family had disappeared. Bam Bam has asked authorities for better protection for his family.
“I’ve grown tired of this. My decision is to no longer declare anything, I won’t continue until you, as fathers of Colombian justice, look at me to see how we can stop the offense that the Prosecuter General’s office is committing,” said the former AUC member.