Former paramilitary head Salvatore Mancuso Thursday told Colombia’s Supreme Court
the AUC influenced presidential elections. He didn’t say which
elections and how. The court didn’t ask.
Mancuso, being heard through video conferencing from his U.S. prison, also said that the meetings held between politicians and paramilitaries were to seek peace in the country.
The extradited warlord told the Court former president Pastrana’s attorney had requested the AUC to hold the meetings secretly, after a meeting between Mancuso’s predecessor Carlos Castaño and Castrana made the FARC break off negotiations for a while.
The meetings between the far-right paramilitaries and politicians have led to one of Colombia’s largest political scandals. Over sixty congressmen are being investigated for their alleged ties with the ‘paras’.
Mancuso denied knowing of any paramilitary influence in the Supreme Court.
The former paramilitary leader is currently awaiting trial in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. His former paramilitary organization AUC is held responsible for the hundreds of thousands of crimes against humanity like murder and rape.