HomeNewsBriefAUC Leaders To Be Freed
BRIEF

AUC Leaders To Be Freed

AUC / 8 MAY 2013 BY MICHAEL TATONE EN

Paramilitary commanders from the demobilized AUC can now begin applying for parole, highlighting what many see as a weaknesses in that process, and what many others say must be different with regards to the current government negotiation with Colombia’s guerrilla groups.

At least 65 former members of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) are now eligible to seek parole, among them feared warlords such as Freddy Rendon Herrera, alias “El Aleman,” and Edward Cobos Tellez, alias “Diego Vecino,” reported El Tiempo.

Under the terms of the so-called Justice and Peace law, the paramilitaries are eligible for release because they have served eight years in prison for crimes they admitted to during the process. However, they must also have cooperated with the authorities, not committed other crimes nor hidden illegal assets.

An anonymous Ministry of Justice source cited by El Tiempo said the Colombian government wants to send the message that it is committed to peace and that it will honor its agreements.

InSight Crime Analysis

The demobilization of the AUC and the Justice and Peace law came under heavy criticism, much of which was directed at the lenient eight-year prison terms handed down to the paramilitaries. Incredibly, while over 31,000 paramilitaries demobilized in the peace process, only seven have been convicted under the Justice and Peace law and only three of those sentences have been carried out. So even if these paramilitaries committed horrific crimes, by law, they cannot be held more than eight years in prison.

The process was also attacked for the way paramilitaries were able to exploit it to retain wealth and influence, and for the inefficiency in its implementation. The haphazard process led directly to the rise of the neo-paramilitary drug trafficking groups, often called BACRIM, that plague Colombia today.

The government is getting another chance to do this right as it negotiates with left-wing guerrillas in Cuba, but finding the right balance for “transitional justice” is always difficult. However, if the government’s current talks with Colombia’s guerrilla groups prove successful, it should siphon only the pieces of the paramilitary process that worked.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 20 JUN 2014

Authorities in the United States have marked the destruction of the Cali Cartel's business empire by removing economic sanctions against over…

COLOMBIA / 5 DEC 2013

Homicides in Colombia have fallen more than nine percent in the last year continuing a national long term trend, but…

COLOMBIA / 22 NOV 2018

The government of Colombia has rejected the appointment of a top ELN commander as a delegate in peace talks and…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…