Ex-paramilitary leader ‘Solín’ said it is time to claim responsibility
for victims of paramilitary activity by disclosing the location of 300 mass
The now demobilized leader told El Tiempo that he and other demobilized paramilitary are sitting down together “to remember where the mass graves are… of the recruits and of those who enrolled voluntarily”.
By “recruits” he refers to the dozens of children recruited by the AUC from the poorer suburbs of Bogotá in the early 2000s. Many deserted and told of how they had been taken to los Llanos in the north-east of Colombia, where they were forced to fight, shoot and kill. Many never returned.
Luisa Prieto is one of dozens of women who has spent the last 5 years looking for relatives ‘recruited’ by the AUC. “The only thing we ask is that these men take pity on our pain and at least let us know where our loved ones were buried,” she begged.
‘Solín’ and his fellow demobilized paramilitary comrades formally requested to be included in the ‘Justice and Peace’ law, which offers paramilitaries a reduction in sentence in exchange for collaboration with justice and a reparation of victims. The government told them that they could not be admitted to the program because their boss ‘Martín Llanos’ had refused to demobilize.
‘Solín’ said they are repentent and want hand over the victims’ bodies to their families. “If they give us the opportunity, we’re not going to lie,” he said.