Former paramilitary chief returned to Colombia following US jailing | FARC Information

Former Colombian paramilitary chief Salvatore Mancuso has been repatriated after serving a drug trafficking sentence in america.

Salvatore Mancuso arrived at Bogota’s El Dorado airport on Tuesday. Having seen a number of requests to be despatched to Italy, the place he additionally has citizenship, denied, he was shortly taken into police custody, with authorities hoping he would make clear a whole lot of crimes that passed off throughout civil unrest within the Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s.

Now 59, Mancuso, who arrived on a constitution flight carrying dozens of Colombians deported after illegally coming into the US, was previously a frontrunner of the United Self-Protection Forces of Colombia. The paramilitary group, based by cattle ranchers, fought in opposition to left-wing rebels throughout some of the violent stretches of Colombia’s decades-long armed battle.

Human rights organisations and authorities officers hope that he’ll cooperate with the justice system and supply details about a whole lot of crimes.

Mancuso has confessed his co-responsibility for quite a few massacres. He has been in jail within the US since 2008 for drug trafficking, and has indicated he’s now able to tackle the function of “peace advocate”.

“I come to proceed with my commitments to the victims, however on the similar time, I come to place myself on the service of a peace agenda that may forestall Colombia from being an everlasting manufacturing facility of victims and collective ache,” Mancuso stated in an announcement distributed to the media upon his arrival.

He’ll stay in jail in Colombia, the place courts have judged him answerable for greater than 1,500 acts of homicide and disappearances. He’ll try and get a lowered sentence, and presumably a launch from jail, from a transitional justice system created by Colombia’s 2016 peace deal.

Victims of the nation’s battle are hoping that Mancuso helps make clear a whole lot of murders and compelled disappearances carried out by paramilitary fighters, together with extrajudicial executions by which victims have been buried in mass graves.

In a number of hearings with Colombian judges, together with some by teleconference whereas in US custody, the previous paramilitary chief has spoken of his dealings with politicians, and of the potential involvement of high-ranking officers in struggle crimes.

However his extradition to the US in 2008 had slowed investigations.

“Mancuso’s return to the nation should contribute to the development of peace, justice, fact and the non-repetition of struggle,” stated Rodrigo Londono, often known as Timochenko, a former chief of the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) insurgent motion. He’s the present chairman of the FARC political occasion Comunes.

“I lengthen my hand to Mancuso to reconcile the nation and convey to gentle all of the tasks of the armed battle,” he wrote on social media. “Peace will win!”

Colombia suffered by means of practically six many years of civil struggle waged between left-wing rebels, right-wing paramilitaries and the nation’s navy. The battle killed greater than 450,000 folks and displaced thousands and thousands.

FARC, the most important insurgent organisation, signed a peace take care of the federal government and laid down its arms in 2016.

President Gustavo Petro, who took workplace in August 2022, has made pursuing “complete peace” within the South American nation a key plank of his administration. He signed a landmark truce take care of The Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN) which was prolonged in early February.

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