Colombia’s Prosecutor General revealed on Tuesday that the assassinations of three politicians from 1989 – 1990 were state crimes.
Colombian media reported the claim that the murders of political leaders Luis Gallan, Bernado Jaramillo and Carlos Pizarro are alleged to have “twenty-five points of connectivity,” and that the circumstances surrounding the killings points towards the involvement of government agents.
Some of the coincidences include the supply of illegal fire arms from the same source, the assigning of the same bodyguards to the security teams of each victim and the same method of diverting attention away from the investigation once the murder had taken place.
Media sources have unanimously reported the investigators’ assertions that “the modus operandi of each assassination was the same; after the killings the perpetrators were shot in order to silence them.”
For example, the accused assassin of Bernardo Jaramillo was the then sixteen year old Maya Arturo. Within days of being granted bail, both she and her father were killed by as yet unidentified assailants. Similarly, Pizarro’s murderer was killed within minutes of the attack and before he could be questioned.
El Espectador revealed that both of the killers of Jaramillo and Pizarro had worked in the same factory and were apparently recruited under similar circumstances. Years after both attacks the paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño confessed that he had helped co-ordinate the attack on Pizarro and had been present when “others” had decided to assassinate Jaramillo, confirming that there is a connection between the two killings.
The newspaper El Tiempo reported on Tuesday that the connecting points were established after 9 months of research into the cases. The evidence was assembled by the Prosecutor General’s Context Analysis Unit (Unac) and has since helped investigators to re-open each case.
Before now, there has been no concrete stance on these killings – while always considered to be politically motivated no one has been able to prove whether they were just more examples of narco-terrorism of if they were backed by the state.
Colombian newspapers have said that the connections between the drug cartels and state security was “obvious”, with police and security staff being involved in the day to day running of each criminal organization.
There have been multiple investigations since the 1990’s but none have come to fruition; the most recent was the acquittal of Lieutenant Carlos Florez who was found not guilty of the murder of Luis Galan.
In reopening the seemingly connected cases, investigators said that “we have seen that there is a group of politicians and members of the security forces who have so far managed to remain safe from the investigations despite their connection to the crimes.”