The U.S. Justice Department has promised to help Colombia’s Supreme Court in convincing extradited paramilitary leaders to testify and confess their crimes, Supreme Court president Augusto Ibañez said Tuesday.
A number of former heads of the AUC suspended their cooperation after they were extradited to the U.S. to face drug charges. Others suspended their cooperation because they say it endangers their family members in Colombia. The son of one of these extradited paramilitary leaders was murdered.
Ibañez had visited the U.S. to seek the resumption of testimonies that are part of Colombia’s ‘Justice and Peace’ process that seeks the prosecution of those guilty of crimes against humanity and revealed ties between paramilitary death squads and dozens politicians.
According to the Supreme Court president, U.S. prosecutors will visit Colombia in the near future to learn more about the ‘parapolitics’ trials the Supreme Court started after the accusations made by AUC heads.
The extradited paramilitaries and NGOs say the extradition of the highest commanders of the AUC was an attempt of the Colombian government to silence them and frustrate attempts to prosecute politicians with paramilitary ties. The Colombian government denies this and says the paramilitaries continued criminal activities while in jail.