Two retired Colombian army colonels and eight other members of the armed forces are sought by the country’s Attorney general for allegedly killing approximately 200 civilians over eight years.
Between 1986 and 1994, in what is known as the Trujillo Massacre, residents of Trujillo and other communities were killed by what the attorney general called a “sinister alliance between the military, paramilitaries and narcotraffickers,” writes The Associated Press’ Spanish edition.
Ten civilians are also sought for their alleged participation in the massacre. All 19 remain fugitives, despite arrest orders being released more than a month ago, anonymous sources from the Human Rights Unit told the AP.
Aside from the two army colonels, the nineteen is made of ex-Public Forces members, ex-functionaries and ex-paramilitaries, reports Caracol Radio. Each is charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and murder.
Only two names were mentioned in the AP report: active colonel Wilfredo Ruiz Silva, who was a lieutenant at the time of the massacre, and retired coronel Hernán Contreras Peña, who was commander of the military unit near Trujillo at the time.
But Caracol Radio, citing judicial sources, names retired army major Alirio Antonio Urueña, retired lieutenant José Fernando Berrío—formerly commander of the Trujillo police station—and retired sergeant Aníbal Álvarez Hoyos, also a member of the town’s police station.
Narcotrafficker Henry Loaiza, a.k.a. “El Alacrán”, formerly head of the Cali Cartel, and Diego Montoya Sánchez, a.k.a. ‘don Diego’, are also sought, reports El Tiempo.
The Attorney General said the alliance between the military unit, the paramilitaries and narcotraffickers was formed to dislodge rebels from the region and consolidate the region’s drug routes, reports the AP.
The arrest warrants began with the order by the Attorney General a year ago forming a commission to dust off the cases and reopen the investigation, reported El Tiempo.
Victim testimony to the commission has indicated at least 60 other people were involved in the crime. The commission also urged the federal, departmental and local governments to make investments in the community as reparation for the crimes.
In 1995, the Colombian state apologized before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for the massacre.