Salvatore Mancuso, the former head of the Colombian paramilitary force, revealed on Tuesday that current President Gustavo Petro and Álvaro Leyva, the head of foreign relations, were “military targets” of the now-defunct Department of Administrative Security (DAS).
The statement was made on the fourth and last day of the ‘Single Truth Hearing’, before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), a transitional justice mechanism that emerged after the signing of the peace deal in 2016, to which Mancuso is expected to submit. wishes to. To get some judicial advantage.
Mancuso insisted that “the objective was defined from the central level”, which would be achieved by the Self-Defense United of Colombia (AUC), a defunct paramilitary group commanded by José Miguel Narváez, former deputy director of the DAS.
According to the former AUC commander, Narváez gave him a list of “military targets”, including Petro and Leyva. In addition, they included lawyer Alirio Muñoz, a current member of the House of Representatives for the historic settlement; Former Senator Piedad Córdoba and then Secretary of the Communist Party Jaime Quesado.
At the first hearing, Mancuso insisted that Narváez “sent self-defense groups a list” with the names of members of various social organizations such as the Committee for Solidarity with Political Prisoners, the Colombian Commission of Jurists (CCJ) and the Lawyers’ Collective. . Jose Alvear Restrepo.
Narváez was sentenced to 26 years in prison for ordering the murder of journalist Jaime Garzón on August 13, 1999 in Bogotá, whom he accused of having alleged ties to the National Liberation Army (ELN).
Das joins paramilitarism
A former paramilitary commander extradited to the US in 2008 said that the DAS provided information to the paramilitary group “which led to the killing of people accused of being guerrillas.”
In the same way, he said that they help him in surveillance and intelligence work. “The relationship had to do with the provision of information. People who were considered military targets were shared on lists for execution, which was done exceptionally,” he said.
Similarly, Mancuso reported that The 12 Apostles, a security group created by Santiago Uribe, brother of Álvaro Uribe, received support from the paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia. This would be another variable with irregular extermination groups consisting of former heads of state.