A former paramilitary commander was excluded from the transitional justice process Thursday and instead received a four-decade prison sentence due to his suspected remorselessness.
Edgar Ignacio Fierro, alias “Don Antonio,” former commander of the AUC‘s Juan Pablo Diaz Front that operated on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, was preparing for his release from prison following the completion of an eight-year transitional justice sentence enacted under then-President Alvaro Uribe‘s 2005 Justice and Peace Law.
Yet Thursday’s Supreme Court hearing saw a slew of evidence against Don Antonio, proving he was unrepentant and therefore not eligible for the benefits of the transitional justice system.
The 2005 Justice and Peace Law gave paramilitary leaders and middle men access to fixed and dramatically reduced sentences in exchange for their weapons and full compliance with justice investigations, meaning they were required to divulge any knowledge they possessed of criminal activity or crimes committed against humanity.
In Don Antonio’s case, it appears he did not meet his obligations to contribute effectively to the process and in fact “demonstrated his reluctance and lack of commitment to contribute to the satisfaction of the truth regarding events in which he participated,” ruled the Supreme Court judge presiding over his case, reported Colprensa.
The judge also considered Don Antonio’s failure to show up to an important hearing, as well as the fact he did not offer a public apology to his victims, and instead presented a “drafted” letter of excuses. Furthermore, the paramilitary had not been active in the redress to victims because his house and two cars, as well as $50,000, was not handed over but seized at the time of his capture.
Don Antonio is said to be responsible for the assassination of two union members, a human rights defender, a government official, and a university professor.
- Alias “don Antonio” fue excluido de Justicia y Paz (Colprensa via El Colombiano)