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Colombian prosecutors investigate army colonel for links to far-right paramilitaries

Colombian prosecutors investigate army colonel for links to far-right paramilitaries

Colombia's federal prosecutor's office is investigating an army colonel suspected of collaborating with the country's far-right paramilitaries and of responsibility for illegal killings, the Defense Ministry said Friday.
The unnamed colonel was suspended from the army for the duration of the investigation.
The announcement is part of an ever-widening scandal tying Colombia's establishment to the brutal paramilitaries, created by landowners and drug-traffickers to wrest control of the countryside from leftist rebels.
The colonel is alleged to have worked with the infamous warlord Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, known as Jorge 40, who controlled much of Colombia's northern coast and who is accused of ordering hundreds of killings and exporting tons of cocaine.
The statement said that possible charges against the colonel could also include violation of human rights and corruption.
Human rights groups and government critics have documented extensive links between the armed forces and the paramilitaries as they jointly carried out a dirty war against leftist guerrillas, government critics, trade unionists and human rights workers.
In his confession as part of a part of a peace deal with the government, the paramilitary commander Salvatore Mancuso has implicated a small number of military officers, but mainly those either dead or already in prison.
A peace process between the paramilitaries and the government has led to the demobilization of more than 30,000 fighters. But in recent months a scandal has linked dozens of politicians to the illegal group, responsible for some of the most savage massacres in Colombia's civil conflict.


Updated : 2021-06-16 22:38 GMT+08:00