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Response to FLPanhandle (Reply #1)

Tue May 26, 2015, 03:24 PM

2. The article indicates there are 5 death squad members who testified in reference to this violence:

Confessions of paramilitaries

The targeting of union workers by paramilitaries was carried out without being noticed outside of Colombia due to the veil fabricated by the war between the Colombian government and guerrilla groups such as FARC and ELN.

However, the recent confessions of 5 paramilitaries that claim Torres’ abduction was ordered and financed by Ocensa have opened doors for Torres’ case.

Ocensa is the country’s main oil pipeline, with capacity to transport as much as 650,000 barrels per day. Set up by BP and Ecopetrol – Colombia’s state-owned oil company – Ocensa builds and owns all pipelines in Casanera.
[center]~ ~ ~[/center]

Death squads (paramilitaries) have been the unacknowledged arm of the Colombian military for a very long time. There have been massacres in which they worked in tandem to get the job done. This has all be admitted in court by former paramilitaries, some of whom were murdered after their testimonies, as did Francisco Villalba :

~ snip ~

In sworn testimony to Attorney General investigators taken on April 30, 1998, Francisco Enrique Villalba Hernández, a former paramilitary who took part in the El Aro massacre, confirmed the testimony by survivors taken by Human Rights Watch that the operation had been carefully planned and carried out by a joint paramilitary-Army force. Villalba said he belonged to the Toledo Group within the ACCU's Metro Front. He told authorities that "Junior" and Salvatore Mancuso, known as "El Mono Mancuso" and the commander of ACCU fighters present, took him and approximately 100 other paramilitaries to Puerto Valdivia to prepare to enter El Aro.(40)

There, Villalba told authorities that he witnessed the meeting between Mancuso, an Army lieutenant, and two Army subordinates, there with troops. This region is covered by both the Girardot and Granaderos Battalions. Throughout the encounter, Villalba testified, Army soldiers and paramilitaries addressed each other as "cousin" (primo), as a sign of shared goals and purpose.(41)Villalba was also able to testify about radio exchanges he overheard between Mancuso and the colonel in charge of the battalion that was taking part in the combined operation. According to Villalba, "They were planning the entry into El Aro and how the operation would go lower down (the mountain), so that the Army would prevent people or commissions or journalists from entering."42)

During the operation, Villalba said that the combined Army-paramilitary force was attacked by the FARC. "Right when we had contact with guerrillas, which lasted three hours, an Army helicopter arrived, and gave us medical supplies and munitions."43)

Villalba admitted taking direct part in killings and the mutilations of victims, including a beheading. Once the paramilitaries had rounded up the cattle belonging to El Aro residents, Villalba said, paramilitaries left the area protected by the Army, which advised them to take a route that would avoid members of the Attorney General's office and Procuradura they believed had been sent to investigate reports of the massacre. While the paramilitaries traveled in several public busses commandeered on the highway, another car preceded them, according to Villalba, ensuring that the busses would pass army roadblocks unhampered.(44)

From:
The Ties That Bind: Colombia and Military-Paramilitary Links
(Human Rights Watch)
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2000/colombia/

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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]

Francisco Villaba [/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.)


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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

ETC., ETC., ETC.

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