Former paramilitary commander Hazbun Raul “Pedro Ponte” Mendoza was sentenced to 20 years prison for his involvement in the killing of two Union Patriotica members, reports the Prosecutor General’s office.
On December 16, 1996 armed men seized a bus full of workers in the banana region of Uraba and led off two men. The next day the bodies of Alirio de Jesus Alzate Arroyave and Pedro Antonio Mosquera were found by their colleagues on the side of the road. Both men were members of the communist party, Union Patriotica.
Hazbun Mendoza is a former leader of the AUC front, “Arlex Hurtado.”
Union Patriotica was formed by FARC guerrillas and the Colombian Communist Party as a diplomatic arm of their movement in 1985. By the late 1990s the UP was obsolete with an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 of its members murdered. Most of these murders were never prosecuted.
Mendoza’s sentence is part of a plea agreement. He will serve his time in a medium-high security prison in Itagui, Antioquia.