A paramilitary serving time for a massacre of 15 people said he has a video showing him being awarded prior to the crime by Colombian president Álvaro Uribe, then governor of Antioquia, renewing a long-time and often inconsistent claim against the chief of state.
Francisco Villalba, who previously filed a lawsuit with similar charges, did not explain why he has not released the video. Critics say he is inconsistent in his allegations and merely seeks to reduce his prison time, reports Noticias Uno.
“I don’t need benefits because I already paid the sentence to which I was convicted, thanks to God, I already paid the sentence and if I have to… if they tell me that I can’t stay here in the country, I’m going to stay here in the country and I’m going to face it,” he told Noticias Uno, in what the television network billed as an exclusive interview.
Villalba has spent 11 years in prison since being convicted along with infamous paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso and one other man of carrying out the 1997 Aro massacre of 15 people in the department of Antioquia.
Inconsistencies in the account include claims that general Alfonso Manosalva attended the October 1997 meeting, while he died in April of that year. The report did not include an explanation from Villalba.
A letter of retraction of the claims was also sent by the government to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, but the paramilitary claims that it was written by another person.