Salem Radio Network News Sunday, October 25, 2020

World

Former paramilitary boss Jorge 40 returns to Colombia, will face investigations

BOGOTA (Reuters) – A ex-paramilitary leader who served 12 years in the United States for drug trafficking must now face Colombian courts for murders, kidnappings and other crimes allegedly committed during the Andean country’s armed conflict, the attorney general’s office said.

Rodrigo Tovar, better known by his alias Jorge 40, returned to Colombia on Monday from the United States and was immediately detained by authorities to face 1,486 investigative procedures.

“He has been deported from the United States to comply with the judicial sentences, as well as the different arrest warrants and security measures that have been issued against him,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement late on Monday.

Tovar, 69, formed part of the far-right United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), the country’s main paramilitary group. He is accused of involvement in murders, massacres, kidnappings, torture, forced disappearances and mass displacements committed as the group battled left-wing guerrillas.

There are 65 arrest warrants and 109 detention orders against Tovar, who was expelled from a special justice tribunal dealing with crimes committed during the conflict due to his reluctance to collaborate with authorities.

Tovar demobilized in 2006 alongside thousands of other paramilitaries. He faces a maximum of 60 years in jail, judicial sources said.

Colombia is also awaiting the deportation from the United States of Salvatore Mancuso, another former AUC leader who is accused of war crimes and violating human rights.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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