Colombia’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that a group of victims who suffered at the hands of an AUC front will have their pending compensation benefits suspended.
Victims of the AUC’s Jose Pablo Diaz Front, headed by Edgar Ignacio Fierro, alias “Don Antonio,” had their initial compensation overturned due to gaps in record keeping.
A judge ordered that the victims be consulted again so they can receive proper compensated. Under the Victims and Land Restitution Law, which took effect in January, victims of Colombia’s ongoing armed conflict are eligible for financial or territorial compensation.
Don Antonio confessed in trial that he pressured farmers to sell their land to the AUC at prices far below market value. This allowed for the transfer of land to the AUC to appear legal. The Supreme Court urged paramilitary leaders to comply with authorities by handing over any paperwork associated with the illegal transfer of land to facilitate the compensation process.
The court also upheld a second eight year sentence for Don Antonio Friday. Under the 2005’s Justice and Peace Law, demobilized illegal armed group members could only serve a maximum of eight years unless found guilty of another crime.