Former AUC leader Vicente Castaño gave orders to form new small “self-defense” groups following the organization’s demobilization, jailed drug lord and former paramilitary leader “Don Mario” claimed Wednesday.
Daniel Rendon Herrera said Castaño had given the order because he felt “betrayed” by the Colombian government.
In a deposition released by his lawyer, the former paramilitary also said he was willing to be extradited to the United Stated because he feared for his life. Recent accusations in the media that he continued to run the neo-paramilitary group” Los Urabeños” from prison had put his life in danger, he claimed.
“Los Urabeños” are considered one of Colombia’s strongest drug trafficking groups with more than 2,000 armed members.
Herrera, who was once Colombia’s top drug baron, also denied participating in the murder of Manuel Vasquez Gaviria, a witness in several drug-related cases. Herrera accused former paramilitary operative Miguel Angel Mejia Munera, also known as the “El Mezillo” (The Twin), as being the architect of the murder.
Herrera was captured in 2009 and he was eventually sent to prison for shipping hundreds of pounds of cocaine from Colombia to the United States. He was also accused of committing 3,000 murders.