U.S. authorities have moved forward a series of 200 proceedings in investigations into over a dozen ex-paramilitary leaders detained in the U.S. since 2008, Colombian media reported Monday.
After meeting Monday with her U.S. equivalent, Eric Holder, in Washington D.C, Colombia’s Prosecutor General Viviane Morales said that she was informed that U.S. proceedings against the extraditees have been renewed, after a pause last year that coincided with the change in Colombia’s administration.
Among those extradited are Diego Murillo alias “Don Berna,” Salvatore Mancuso and Rodrigo Tovar Pupo alias “Jorge 40,” accused along with drug trafficking charges of being responsible for tens of thousands crimes against humanity, including assassinations, rape, forced disappearance and forced displacement.
The extradition was, and continues to be, highly controversial, both because it was done without approval from the Colombian Supreme Court and because the paramilitaries are being tried only on drug trafficking charges in the U.S, while in Colombia they face charges of tens of thousands of human rights violations.
In fall 2010, the U.S. government removed seven of the extraditees from public records, thus making it virtually impossible for their victims to receive compensation, since the accused are no longer in cooperation with the Colombian justice system.
According to newspaper Terra Colombia, the Office of the Prosecutor General has also had limited access to the AUC leaders since the extradition, and has on several occasions requested improved collaboration from U.S. authorities in this regard.
In accordance with this, Morales reportedly said of the visit with Holder that they discussed “general themes” and that they did not “touch on any particular case.”