According to the newspaper, the leader of ERPAC, Jose Eberto Lopez Montero, alias “Caracho,” wrote a letter to the government asking about the possible terms of their demobilization.
“For the purpose of the discussion of a legislative act to create legal tools of peace, ERPAC considers it reasonable to consider the inclusion of all the armed actors that participate in the conflict,” Caracho explained in the letter. “Our purpose is to contribute to the national peace.”
Lawyers are reportedly in contact with the government and the Prosecutor General’s Office to determine the possible conditions of the neo-paramilitary group’s demobilization. According to El Tiempo, one of ERPAC’s lawyers said that the organization is requesting that its members who are not linked to murders be tried for conspiracy to commit a crime and receive demobilization benefits.
According to the report, the Prosecutor General’s Office is considering offering halved sentences to members of ERPAC who have not committed crimes against humanity.
One source from the Prosecutor General’s Office told El Tiempo that “with the legal framework in place today they cannot expect additional benefits, they proposed the possibility of delivering [themselves] but with certainty they will have to go to prison.”
The group’s lawyer also reportedly explained that the leaders of ERPAC could provide information about their criminal activities in the Eastern Plains. It is not clear whether or not they would provide information about Daniel Barrera Barrera, alias “El Loco,” thought to be the true leader of the organization.
Caracho, once the chief of finances of the organization, has already “demobilized” once with the Heroes de Llano block of ERPAC. The group rearmed under their leader, Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, alias “Cuchillo.” Caracho took control of the organization following the death of Cuchillo in December 2010.
The drug trafficking gang ERPAC, or the Popular Revolutionary Antiterrorist Army of Colombia, began as a right-wing paramilitary organization under the umbrella of the AUC. ERPAC has mostly abandoned its ideological roots, forming strategic drug alliances with organizations such as the leftist guerrilla group FARC.
One of ERPAC’s cocaine mega-labs, considered to be the “mother” of their drug trafficking operation, was recently raided by Colombian anti-narcotics police. Six tons of cocaine was seized from the laboratory, which authorities believe was able to produce up to 800 kilos of cocaine a week.