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Wed Jun 11, 2014, 09:51 PM

Victims call for investigation of another former general linked to paramilitary massacre

Victims call for investigation of another former general linked to paramilitary massacre
Jun 11, 2014 posted by Victoria McKenzie

The lawyer representing victims of a notorious 1997 paramilitary massacre in central Colombia is asking for the investigation of another former general in connection with the murders, Rito Alejo del Río, national media reported Wednesday.

One day after the Supreme Court sentenced Jaime Humberto Uscategui to 37 years in prison for his responsibility in the Mapiripan massacre in central Colombia, a lawyer called on the Supreme Court to investigate former general Rito Alejo del Rio for his involvement in the same incident, reported La Vanguardia Wednesday.

Eduardo Carreno, representing the victims of Mapiripan, said that Del Rio should be investigated for his “actions of omission in this slaughter, having worked with paramilitaries and facilitated their movements out of the Necocli and Apartado airports…. in two planes.”

Del Rio, who was the commander of the Colombian army’s 17th Brigade and in charge of the northwestern Uraba region, is currently serving a 25-year sentence for the murder and dismemberment of a village leader during a joint military-paramilitary operation in Choco in 1997.


More:
http://colombiareports.co/colombia-general-sentenced-37-years-prison-1997-massacre/

(My emphasis.)

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Reply Victims call for investigation of another former general linked to paramilitary massacre (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 OP
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 #1
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 #2
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jun 11, 2014, 10:08 PM

1. The massacre at Mapiripan was no small event. It was zestifully enjoyed by the death squads

participating, at the expense of the Colombian people.

From the original article posted above:

The Mapiripan Massacre

The events now known as the Mapiripan Massacre — perhaps the most gruesome in the long, bloody history of Colombia’s 50-year armed conflict — began on July 15, 1997, when at least 140 paramilitary troops under the now-defunct AUC paramilitary umbrella group descended into the town of Mapiripan, a former stronghold of the FARC rebel group in the central state of Meta.

MORE: Colombia’s conflict has cost 220,000 lives since 1958

Over the course of the next four days, the paramilitaries slaughtered at least 49 villagers, one by one, first torturing their victims and later dismembering them using chainsaws and machetes.

Body parts were strewn along the streets, and more than 70 people were left missing following the incident. Many more corpses were hacked apart and disposed of in a nearby river, making the exact death toll impossible to determine.

MORE: Ex-paramilitaries testify over Mapiripan massacre

Demobilized paramilitaries would go on to testify that the massacre had been planned months in advance, and had in many cases been carried out with the direct collusion of military and police forces, who escorted the paramilitaries to the town and then ignored repeated calls for aid throughout the four-day butchery.

The U.S, citizens, who were footing the bill for so much done in the happy kingdom of Colombia, never knew these things were going on there, with the financial blessings sent involuntarily by the US citizens through their hard-earned tax dollars.

The powers that be overrode any potential moral objections any real journalists would have held, and those stories just didn't get published, did they? We were all too busy reading and hearing how despicable countries are which have NEVER participated in these things, because the US didn't like them politically.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jun 15, 2014, 12:03 AM

2. Mapiripán Massacre: Paras told U.S. Operation “well-coordinated in advance” with Colombian Army

Mapiripán Massacre: Paras told U.S. Operation “well-coordinated in advance” with Colombian Army
July 16, 2012



The massacre was “well-coordinated in advance” with the Colombian Army.


Colombia’s Mapiripán massacre was “well-coordinated in advance” with the Colombian Army, according to confidential paramilitary sources, one of which the U.S. Embassy believed had “participated directly in the planning” of the killings. The new disclosures are the first from a fresh set of declassified diplomatic cables on the Mapiripán case released at the end of last week by the State Department’s Appeals Review Panel on the15th anniversary of the massacre.

If this “blunt admission” of Army complicity in the Mapiripán massacre was correct, an Embassy official observed, “then both of the key paramilitary operations which most directly affected U.S.-assisted counter-narcotics operations in the Guaviare region in 1997 had been conducted with the foreknowledge and facilitation by members of the Colombian Army.” The other “operation” was the October 1997 massacre at Miraflores, which, like Mapiripán, was then an important narcotics trafficking hub in Colombia’s eastern plains.

It’s taken the State Department 15 years to declassify what it knew only 18 months after those dark days: that the Mapiripán massacre was likely the result of an Army-paramilitary conspiracy that went “well beyond” the units and individuals that have been implicated so far. The document suggests that the previous convictions in the case—which mostly involve junior officers and crimes of omission—are merely the tip of the iceberg.

A few days ago, we published a 2003 letter in which the State Department claimed—six years after the fact—that the Colombian military had tried to “cover up” the massacre, in which dozens were brutally killed by illegal paramilitary forces brought in from northern Colombia. These new documents, most of which are from 1997-1999, go a long way toward explaining how they arrived at that conclusion.

More:
http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/mapiripan-massacre-paras-told-u-s-operation-well-coordinated-in-advance-with-colombian-army/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jun 15, 2014, 02:02 AM

3. Murder Training: Colombian Death Squad Used Live Hostages

Murder Training: Colombian Death Squad Used Live Hostages
April 29, 2007 By El Tiempo

El Tiempo, Bogota -- "Proof of courage": that is how the how the paramilitaries would term the training they imparted to their recruits so that they learnt how to carve up people while they were still alive.

Initially, the authorities rejected this version of the farmers who reported the practice... but when the combatants themselves started to admit to it in their testimonies before the prosecutors, the myth became a harsh crime against humanity.

Francisco Enrique Villalba Hernández (alias Cristian Barreto), one of the perpetrators of the massacre at El Aro in Ituango, Antioquia, received this type of training in the same place where he learnt to handle arms and manufacture home-made bombs. Today, a prisoner at La Picota in Bogota, Villalba has described in details during lengthy testimonies how he applied the learning.

"Towards the middle of 1994, I was ordered to a course... in El Tomate, Antioquia, where the training camp was located," he says in his testimony. There, his working day started at 5 in the morning and the instructions were received directly from the top commanders such as 'Double Zero' (Carlos Garcia, since assassinated by another paramilitary group).

Villalba claims that in order to learn how to dismember people they would use farmers they gathered together in the course of taking neighbouring settlements. As he describes it, "they were aged people whom we brought in trucks, alive and bound up". The victims arrived at the ranch in covered trucks. They were lowered from the vehicle with their hands tied and taken to a room. There they were locked up for days in the hope that the training would start.

More:
http://www.zcommunications.org/murder-training-colombian-death-squad-used-live-hostages-by-el-tiempo

[center]

Former AUC, Francisco Enrique Villalba.[/center]
Material from a testimony by this man, Francisco Villaba, former death squad member. He was murdered not too long ago, after he had testified in court regarding his participation in AUC (right-wing paramillitary) activities:

Details of testimony that involves Uribe in a massacre
Posted on June 20, 2008 by csn

http://colombiasupport.net/2008/06/details-of-testimony-that-involves-uribe-in-a-massacre

(Very, very graphic. Horrendous.)

[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
Colombia Searches for its Dead
Apr 29 2007
Luz María Sierra

They Gave Quartering Classes

~snip~
When we decided at El Tiempo to do a special report on the phenomenon of common graves a scene began to repeat itself in our newsroom: one by one, reporters coming back from the field, returned mortified.

Few discoveries have shaken us so deeply and few are as difficult to write about: from the scale of the horror, to the way they died, and by the insatiable pain of the families, as well as—perhaps most unsettling—realizing the magnitude of the work that remains to be done throughout the country. Will a significant number of the dead be unearthed and identified to alleviate their families? Will we be able to mourn, as we should, to prevent a third chapter of extreme violence from enrapturing Colombia?

Paramilitary testimonies and the results of forensic teams lead us to conclude that the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a paramilitary umbrella group, not only designed a method to quarter human beings, they also took the extra step of actually giving classes on the subject, using live people taken to their training camps.

~snip~
Paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso confessed that to prevent authorities from finding the body of indigenous leader Kimi Pernía, they dug up his grave and threw his remains into the Sinú River. Informed sources allege that before beginning his demobilization negotiations with the government, Mancuso ordered land that was seeded with the dead on the Ralito estate to be dug up to hide his crimes. Now, investigators say the “Black Eagles,” which are a successor group of the paras, are going around the country digging up graves and throwing the remains into the rivers.

And the guerrillas? Their common graves have been found as well, especially in the department of Cundinamarca, but 98% of the denunciations and claims of graves being investigated by the Fiscalía are connected to the paras.

More:
https://nacla.org/node/1467

[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
Mounting Evidence of President’s Involvement in Massacre
News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 27 April 2008

~snip~

• In the months and years that followed, government agencies as well as human rights organisations opened investigations into the massacre at El Aro. However, in 1999 the government investigators that were involved in this work were themselves all murdered. The highest profile human rights defender in Antioquia at that time, Jesus Maria Valle Jaramillo, publicly stated that the Army and paramilitaries had collaborated on the massacre and questioned why Governor Uribe had ignored the plea for help from residents in the period immediately preceding the attack. Uribe responded by accusing Mr Valle Jaramillo of being an "enemy of the armed forces". Then in February 1999, he too was assassinated.

• Some time afterwards Jose Ardila, the CONVIVIR representative who had attended the first meeting at the ranch with the Uribe brothers, had a falling out with Uribe. He was subsequently sentenced to a 60-year prison term but shortly afterwards was taken out of jail. He has never been seen since.

• Since going public with his testimony, Mr Villalba, who himself is in jail, has been the victim of three assassination attempts.

More:
http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/296/mounting-evidence-of-presidents-involvement-in-massacre

[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
More information included on a former thread regarding The Massacre at Mapiripán:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014170349

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