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Judi Lynn

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Article in Colombia's newspaper, El Tiempo, re: former para's court testimony:

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.



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


(Very, very graphic. Horrendous.)

Paramilitaries said 1997 massacre was 'well coordinated' with army: US cable . (Colombia)

Source: Colombia Reports

Paramilitaries said 1997 massacre was 'well coordinated' with army: US cable .
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 09:31 Adriaan Alsema

Members of paramilitary organization AUC told the U.S. embassy that the 1997 Mapiripan massacre in central Colombia was "well coordinated in advance" with (elements of) the army, according to a released diplomatic cable.

The State Department document was declassified and published Tuesday by the National Security Archive, a non-profit organization dedicated to declassifying U.S. government documents.

According to the embassy's anonymous sources, the army provided "travel, logistics, intelligence and security" to the paramilitary who killed dozens of civilians in the five days after their July 15 incursion of the town.

The identification of the victims has been complicated as the paramilitaries cut up the majority of their remains and threw them in a nearby river.

Read more: http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/25133-paramilitaries-said-1997-massacre-was-well-coordinated-with-army-us-cable.html

Uribe conspired with paramilitaries: AUC commander .

Source: Colombia Reports

Uribe conspired with paramilitaries: AUC commander . (U.S. ally)
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 11:11 Esteban Manriquez

One of the paramilitary AUC's most prominent ex-commanders accused Colombia's former President Alvaro Uribe of collaborating with armed militias.

Ever Veloza, alias “H.H.,” told U.S. prosecutors that Uribe developed ties with the paramilitary group AUC during his tenure as governor of the Antioquia department from 1995-1997. According to H.H., Carlos Castaño, one of the founders of the AUC, used pagers to keep in contact with officials in the Antioquian government. Uribe used one of these pagers to secretly communicate with Castaño, said the extradited commander.

Uribe is one of hundreds of politicians implicated in what's called "parapolitics."

Since 2006, 38 congressmen and five governors have been convicted for conspiring with paramilitary groups to get elected into office, reap financial rewards and intimidate opponents. Some 140 more former congressmen have pending investigations against them. Although many of these “parapoliticians” were allies of the Uribe administration, the former president himself has so far escaped indictment. According to the Prosecutor General's Office, more than 11,000 politicians, public officials, members of the military and businessmen collaborated with the organization that was determined a terrorist organization until its official demobilization between 2003 and 2006.

Read more: http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/25032-uribe-conspired-with-paramilitary-auc-commander.html

(Colombia's paramilitaries, which officially ended, have regrouped under different names, as noted by groups like Amnesty International. They have always been identified as right-wing narcotrafficking death squads responsible for "the lion's share" of extreme violence against citizens in Colombia.)
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