lundi, décembre 18, 2006

Actualité - Colombia Sweats Paramilitary Tales

Bogota, Dec 18 (Prensa Latina) - Colombians are anxiously awaiting for declarations from former paramilitary chief Salvatore Mancuso over links of his group with national politicians.

The hearing falls within the process of the Justice and Peace Law, the legal framework to try the humanity crimes of paramilitary officers, and should take place on Tuesday in Medellin, capital of northeastern Antioquia province.

Mancuso s deposition may take two days and he must answer, among other crimes, for the El Aro massacre, kidnappings and over 2,000 killings by his men during 1999-2004.

However, he hopes to bargain an alternative sentence of 5-8 years according to the benefits given by the Justice and Peace Law.

The former leader of the United Autodefenses of Colombia (AUC) has several politicians, businesspeople and other members of society shaking in their shoes for what he could reveal about them.

The ex-paramilitary head may also deliver a document signed in 2001 by over forty lawmakers, political leaders, journalists as well as neoliberal and conservative politicians that committed to support a AUC proposals at government talks.

That political pact, disclosed in November by Senator Miguel de la Espriella, worsened what is called the para-politics scandal, referring to alleged links between AUC and politicians in this nation.

Mancuso s appearance in court coincides with the publication of an interview with brothers Miguel Angel and Victor Manuel Mejia Munera.

They say they were part of a deal with former Interior and Justice minister Sabas Pretelt that promised their exemption from extradition if they contributed to President Alvaro Uribe s re-election, which they claim to have done.

Pretelt denied those assertions but admitted he told the brothers could not meet them as he was working on the president s reelection.

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