Colombian officials say they’ve captured a top member of an outlaw clan that founded the country’s far-right militias who has been sentenced in absentia to 40 years for the murder of a land activist.
President Juan Manuel Santos announced the arrest Tuesday of Sor Teresa Gomez, the spouse of a half-brother of paramilitary leaders Fidel, Vicente and Carlos Castano.
Gomez was convicted in 2011 of ordering the murder four years earlier of Yolanda Izquierdo, leader of a group of peasants in Cordoba state trying to reclaim land stolen by the Castanos.
Santos calls Gomez the ringleader of forces resisting the return of stolen lands in Cordoba.
Land restoration is a hallmark of the president’s attempt to make peace with Colombia’s main leftist rebel band. Land reform is its main demand.