Presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos asked paramilitary head Carlos Castaño to carry out a coup to overthrow then-President Ernesto Samper, claims extradited AUC commander Salvatore Mancuso, reports El Espectador.
Speaking from the U.S., Mancuso also said that former deputy director of security agency DAS, Jose Miguel Narvaez, had visited paramilitary camps to politically indoctrinate their fighters at a time when he was officiating as advisor to the Ministry of Defense.
Mancuso added that without the cooperation of DAS, the Colombian army, and the police, the paramilitaries would never have been able to take control of the Caribbean region.
The Colombian army supported the AUC in many operations against guerrillas in different parts of the country, according to the former commander.
The jailed AUC commander repeated his accusation that during the same period, current Vice President Francisco Santos, cousin of the Partido de La U presidential candidate, proposed the creation of urban paramilitary squads in Bogota.
In December 2009, Mancuso asked the Colombian Congress to repatriate him, claiming that the Justice and Peace process was failing because paramilitaries do not testify about their crimes from the U.S.
Mancuso had stated previously that he and others were extradited to the U.S. to shut them up and stop the truth from coming out.
The former commander was one of twelve paramilitary leaders extradited to the U.S. in May 2008.