Paramilitary leader willing to testify against Colombia officials

Posted on Apr 7 2014 - 6:39pm by Rico
Martin LLanos (Photo: El Universal)

A paramilitary leader is willing to testify against at least 50 Colombian military and civilian officials who were complicit in the paramilitary’s criminal activities, Noticias Uno broadcast center reported Saturday.

Hector German Buitrago, alias “Martin Llanos”, was the political leader of the Peasant Self-Defense Forces of Casanare, a paramilitary faction based in the eastern state of Casanare.

According to Noticias Uno, Llanos said that he is willing to testify that Colombian military and government officials were complicit in criminal paramilitary activities.

The paramilitary commander has allegedly been requesting that the government include him in the Justice and Peace process since December 2012, but has yet to receive a response.

In the same statement, Llanos claimed that he was the only paramilitary commander not permitted to demobilize his troops in 2005, during the administration of former President Alvaro Uribe. In addition he says that he is the only paramilitary commander that “never fought” alongside government troops. As a result, he is willing to disclose information regarding the relationship between paramilitary commanders, and politicians, members of the judiciary and members of Colombia’s armed forces.

MORE: Senior AUC commander ‘Martin Llanos’ arrested in Venezuela

Llanos exerted control over the states of Casanare, Meta, Vichada, Boyaca and Cundinamarca for over 25 years. He was arrested in Venezuela during February 2012.

Llanos is most widely known for his responsibility in the 1997 Mapiripan massacre, central Colombia.

The slaughter in Mapiripan, a town in the Colombian occurred between 15 and 20 July 1997, when about 100 paramilitaries raided the area, killing, torturing and kidnapping residents. During the five day massacre, the paramilitaries encountered no resistance from Colombian authorities.

Relatives of Martin Llanos were commanders and founding members of paramilitary group the ACC, a branch of the now-demobilized paramilitary umbrella organization AUC.

Llanos’ father and cousin were captured after the AUC demobilization, while the former AUC commander continued to control drug and arms trafficking routes from Colombia’s eastern plains to Venezuela, competing with other groups like the FARC, ELN and ERPAC.

The 2005 Justice and Peace Law allowed paramilitary combatants and leaders fixed and dramatically reduced sentences in exchange for their weapons and full compliance with justice investigations. Those who made use of the statute would serve no more than seven years in prison, provided they divulged their total knowledge of criminal activity or human rights violations to investigators.

Sources

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