A Colombian judge ruled Thursday that the son of former paramilitary commander Ramon Isaza would lose his benefits under the country’s demobilization process for repeatedly violating his court commitments.
Ovidio Isaza, alias “Roque,” was taking part in a process under Colombia’s Justice and Peace Law which offered paramilitaries leniency for their crimes if they demobilized and cooperated fully with authorities.
“Roque,” who is accused of 87 offenses that took place after 2006, has failed to attend hearings five times in a row, said the judge. The “free version” hearings, in which ex-paramilitaries must confess all their crimes before a court, are a key part of the demobilization process — as Isaza has failed to meet this requirement, his legal benefits will now be withdrawn.
The Isaza family spread terror among people in northern Colombia for more than a decade. Roque’s father, Ramon Isaza alias “El Viejo,” was a top commander of Colombia’s largest paramilitary organization, setting up the Autodefensas Campesinas of Magdelena Media (ACMM) wing which committed horrific crimes in Caldas, Antioquia, Cundinamarca and Tolima departments between 1996 and 2004.
The ACMM demobilized in 2006 under the Justice and Peace demobilization process. Members admitted to 520 crimes including torture, forced disappearance, displacement and terrorism; 237 cases of violence and 19 massacres in which 370 people died. “El Viejo,” who is now in jail in Bogota, has personally admitted killing 91 people.
The former commander appeared in court last year for crimes which also included the destruction and appropriation of protected property, the illegal recruitment of minors and aggravated robbery.
He is currently behind bars and has lost his memory, according to lawyers. He refuses to come clean about hundreds of crimes in question, according to Radio Caracol.