Former AUC paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso has asked that a private security company be in charge of protecting his family in Colombia rather than state agents, reported local media Friday.
In return for his collaboration with authorities, the extradited leader Mancuso is asking for a private security team made of 18 men to protect his family in Colombia. He added in his request that every member of his family should have two escorts and an armored car for mobility, reported newspaper El Espectador.
During a video conference from the United States where Mancuso is currently serving a prison sentence for drug trafficking, the demobilized paramilitary said that he didn’t believe state security institutions would offer adequate protection.
“Mancuso in different opportunities has related to members of military forces, the DAS, public servants, among others, and in that vein requests that it not be state security agents that protect his family since they themselves have acted with paramilitaries to do criminal activities,” said lawyer Arturo Mojica, who defends the interests of a group of paramilitary victims.
A Bogota court had ordered Colombia’s Justice Ministry in July to protect the family of the extradited former AUC commander so that he would continue giving further testimonies about his paramilitary activities.
According to Mancuso’s lawyer, Jaime Paeres, the ex-leader’s family currently only has one police member that guards the entrance of the house. He added that if Mancuso’s request was not accepted, his client would consider not continuing in the Justice and Peace Law, said news source CM&.
The petition is being analyzed by magistrates of the High Court of Bogota, who warned that it is legally inconvenient that it not be public officials in charge of the security of his family.
Allegedly a magistrate of the court will define the measures of security and protection September 24 for Mancuso’s family, consisting of his mother, father, siblings, ex-wife and children.
Mancuso demobilized together with 1,434 members of the AUC Catatumbo Bloc in December 2004.
As a demobilized paramilitary of the AUC, Mancuso was initially a beneficiary of Colombia’s Justice and Peace Law, under which, demobilized paramilitaries may only receive a maximum of eight years in prison, provided they confess their crimes and permanently surrender arms. In 2008 Mancuso lost the right to enjoy benefits under the law after being extradited to the United States on charges of drug trafficking.