Testimony of former paramilitary boss brings death threats to family

Posted on Mar 13 2014 - 9:49pm by Rico

The statement of an imprisoned former paramilitary leader that accused a former Colombian general of having ties to paramilitary forces has brought death threats to his son, reported Colombian media Thursday.  

Carlos Mario Jimenez, alias “Macaco,” has indadvertedly put his son’s life in danger by telling authorities in the United States, where he is serving a prison sentence, that former Colombian General Flavio Buitrago had links to the AUC, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, from 1996 to 2005, said Semana Magazine.

Macaco’s son revealed Thursday that he had received a number of death threats since his father’s testimony at the end of last year.  In one of the threats, an explicative ridden text message released to national media, the unknown aggressors threatened that no depth of hiding would protect Macaco’s family members from an ominous fate.

The head of Colombia’s security branch that monitors money laundering and illegal enrichment Julian Quintana, reportedly commented that action would be taken to protect the family of Macaco in response to the threats.

Links to paramilitaries

On December 3 last year Macaco gave a statement to authorities in the United States that alleged Buitrago had been paid by by the Central Bolivar Bloc, a key group of the AUC,  between 1996 and 2005, reported multiple Colombian news sources.

According to the allegations, Buitrago was paid  $11,000 a month by the AUC from 1996 until the election of Alvaro Uribe in 2002. The accusations added that Buitrago’s illegal salary reportedly rose to $33,000 a month following his promotion to Head of Security under the Uribe administration, reported El Pais.  The reported salaries have been adjusted for inflation.

Macaco reportedly told authorities in December that Buitrago provided the AUC with security information which allowed the paramilitary group’s Central Bolivar Bloc to transport narcotics with greater security and efficiency.

General Buitrago was arrested in late September 2013 alongside his wife on charges of illegal enrichment when the origins of $700,000 could not be explained said El Espectador.  Both have remained detained on these charges which are reportedly  linked to a known drug trafficker Marco Antonio Gil, alias “El Papero.”

Macaco is serving a 33 year sentence in the United States after being convicted of drug trafficking and terrorism in 2011.

MORE: Macaco’ sentenced to 33 years in the US prison for drug, terror convictions  

The AUC was a right wing paramilitary group that began operating in Colombia in the mid 1990s, officially forming in 1997.  It stated purpose was to provide security from left wing rebel groups that were present in the country but it was also heavily integrated in the drug trade.  It officially demobilized in 2006 but many former members never disarmed and are now active in criminal gangs formed after the peace settlement.

 Sources

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