Hearing begins process to strip ex-paramilitary leader from benefits

Posted on Mar 17 2014 - 4:57pm by Rico
Carlos Mario Jiménez, alias “Macaco” (Photo: La Informacion)

A Colombian court has begun proceedings to exclude a former paramilitary boss from judicial benefits he was granted when demobilizing a decade ago. The Prosecutor General’s Office said Monday that former AUC commander “Macaco” has not kept his end of the bargain.

The long term future of imprisoned former paramilitary leader Jimenez Naranjo, alias Macaco, is now being decided by a judge who will determine whether he merits exclusion from the Justice and Peace Law for allegedly continuing to traffic narcotics after demobilizing.

The Justice and Peace Law was instituted in 2005 as an incentive to members of the  AUC – United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia – paramilitary group to encourage its demobilization.  The law places an eight-year ceiling on prison sentences for AUC members who demobilized and cooperated with justice while .

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Macaco was extradited to the United States in May 2008 to serve a 33-year sentence stemming from drug trafficking charges. Upon the completion of Macaco’s prison term in the United States he is eligible to serve a significantly reduced sentence under the Justice and Peace Law back in Colombia for crimes committed prior to the demobilization of the AUC.

Colombian prosecutors, however, allege that Macaco trafficked drugs for up to a year and a half after the official AUC demobilization in March 2006 which would consequently void any sentencing leniency due from the Justice and Peace Law.

The Prosecutor General’s Office said in a public statement Monday that Macaco reportedly had admitted to drug trafficking until September 2007 to authorities in the United States.

Monday’s hearing, whose announcement likely means Macaco will have to serve another lengthy prison term after his current three decade sentence, comes less than a week after threats against the ex-paramilitary boss’s family were revealed by Colombian media.

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Macaco’s son reportedly said that he had received multiple threats since December 2013 when Macaco implicated former Colombian General Flavio Buitrago in actively supporting the AUC from 1996 to 2005.  Macaco allegedly told authorities in the United States that Buitrago was on the AUC pay role during this period receiving between $11,000 and $33,000 a month for providing security information to the paramilitary group.

Macaco was formerly the head of the Central Bolivar Bloc of the AUC, one of the largest armed groups, when he demobilized with 1,922 members in December 2005.

Sources

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