Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has warranted the arrest of 51 of 248 members of neo-paramilitary organization ERPAC who surrendered to authorities last week but were released immediately.
According to newspaper El Tiempo, the arrest warrants were filed Sunday as the massive release of the alleged members of the drug-trafficking organization caused increasing criticism.
All but 21 alleged neo-paramilitaries were released as there were no criminal charges against them.
Prosecutors have now warranted the arrest of 51 alleged ERPAC members on conspiracy charges, the newspaper reported.
ERPAC leader “Cachoro” announced the demobilization of 450 of the estimated 1,200 members of the neo-paramilitary group in August and reportedly had been negotiating the surrender with authorities since then.
Conflict-monitoring NGO Nuevo Arco Iris called the demobilization a “media show” Monday, claiming that none of teh arrested members gave any information about the drug routes managed by ERPAC and only handed in old weapons while the group is suspected of being one of the best-equipped of neo-paramilitary groups in the country.
ERPAC was formed in 2006 by former members of the demobilized Centaurus Bloc of the AUC and is suspected of running most of the drugs and arms trafficking business between the departments of Meta and Casanare and Venezuela.