Two Colombian former paramilitary leaders told a reparations hearing that the demobilization process is a failure, with paramilitary fighters rearming and rejoining illegal groups, reports CM&.
Speaking at a court-ordered hearing on reparation negotiations between paramilitaries and victims of their crimes, Edwar Coboz Tellez, alias “Diego Vecina,” and Uber Enrique Banquez Martinez, alias “Juancho Dique,” former commanders of a bloc of the AUC paramilitary coalition, claimed that the majority of their men rearmed themselves and returned to illegal armed groups after the demobilization process.
The hearing, which started on Monday, marks the first time that paramilitaries and their victims have sat down in order to negotiate in what form, and for how much, the victims will be compensated.
Over 1,400 citizens from the municipality of Mampujan in the department of Bolivar are seeking reparations from the two paramilitary heads for a March 20, 2000 incident that left eleven civilians dead and thousands displaced.
Colombia’s Justice and Peace law, which was passed by President Alvaro Uribe in 2005, laid the framework for the mass-demobilization of over 30,000 paramilitary fighters, the majority of them from the AUC.