Salvatore Mancuso, Former Colombian Death Squad Leader, Recounts Squad's Mayhem

Posted on Tuesday, January 23 at 08:43 by julianortega
Dressed in an expensive suit and reading quickly in a matter-of-fact tone from a prepared statement, they said, Mancuso testified that his men had paid the army and police in one region $400,000 a month for their cooperation, and that paramilitaries had coerced voters at gunpoint to support regional and presidential candidates who favored the paramilitaries' agenda. Mancuso's admission so far of involvement in at least 70 crimes in northwestern Colombia is part of a peace deal that promises demobilized militia leaders a maximum of eight years' incarceration, no matter the severity of their crimes, in exchange for full confessions and payment of reparations to victims. Mancuso is among about 30,000 members of rightist militias who have laid down their arms since late 2003, and one of more than 2,000 who are expected to confess to grave crimes to take advantage of lighter sentences. A wealthy cattleman who studied at the University of Pittsburgh, Mancuso helped found civilian militias in the 1980s, financed by rich landowners to combat attacks and extortion by leftist guerrillas. The United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, morphed into shadowy armies that tortured and massacred civilians and became major drug traffickers. Source: http://iht.com/articles/2007/01/18/news/colombia.php

Note: http://iht.com/articles...

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