Authorities had always estimated between 38 and 50 people were killed during a three day murder spree, that took place in the village of El Salado in Bolivar.Confessions made by demobilized paramilitaries and victims now reveal 300 paramilitaries took part in the massacre, murdering at least a 100 people over a period of two weeks the AUC troops were occupying the village. The paramilitaries had taken three months to prepare the attack.The former AUC-members say the slaughter was carried out, because the villagers were suspected of supporting the Revolutionary Armed Forces, Colombia’s largest leftist rebel group and biggest enemy of the right wing AUC.According to the testimonies revealed by the prosecution, the paramilitary troops reigned over the village with terror, raping women, torturing and beheading their victims, to then play football with the heads.Extradited paramilitary chief ‘Jorge 40’, in charge of the responsible paramilitaries, admitted to have taken part in the slaughter and said the massacre was ordered by deceased AUC-head Carlos Castaño. He said paramilitary warlord Salvatore Mancuso, several other AUC-heads and a former member of the Colombian army were present during the massacre.The confessions were made before the prosecution as part of the Justice and Peace law, granting lower punishment for paramilitaries in exchange for collaboration with justice and compensation for their victims.
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