Former paramilitary leader ‘HH’ told Inspector General investigators he
bribed witnesses to blame the FARC for the 2005 massacre of eight
people in the San Apartado peace community.
According to verdadabierta.com, a website specialized in reporting on paramilitary violence in Colombia, Ever ‘HH’ Veloza told investigators of the Inspector General’s Office he helped former colonel Nestor Ivan Duque Lopez to bribe witnesses.
Duque Lopez asked ‘HH’ at a meeting of demobilized AUC members in 2005 to “please give him two million pesos to give to some witnesses who were going to testify on the slaughter of San Jose de Apartado. “[Duque Lopez] told me he was defending allegations of the [massacre],” former paramilitary leader said.
“He [Duque Lopez] told me the money was to be given to some demobilized FARC members to go to Bogota and announce the massacre of San Jose de Apartado was committed by the FARC”, ‘HH’ added.
According to verdadabierta.com, the testimony was given on May 22, 2008 already.
The Inspector General is currently investigating several members of the army who were engaged in the slaughter of five adults and three minors. So far, two captains and six other officers face charges.
The massacre caused great outrage since the Peace Community was established in March 1997 with the intention of staying neutral in Colombia’s conflict. The Community was under protection of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Authorities initially blamed the guerrillas for the massacre, but according to testimonies by both soldiers and paramilitaries, the army and paramilitary organization AUC carried out the operation together.