Bogota, January 24 (EFE). – Former Colombian paramilitary chief Salvatore Mancuso will hold a public pardon for the 1999 kidnapping of Senator Piedad Córdoba, who died last Saturday, as a posthumous tribute to her and her family.
Mancuso confirmed this Wednesday in a video broadcast in the media that he will carry out this act that he promised the senator during her lifetime, since he is one of the few living leaders of the extinct United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), responsible for the Kidnapped on May 22, 1999.
“I expressed to her my wish, which she accepted, to publicly thank her for apologizing for the kidnapping she suffered because she was one of the few living people responsible for these unfortunate events, a commitment that I maintain in her honor a posthumous tribute to her and his family,” Mancuso said in a video recorded at the Migrant Center in Georgia (USA), where he is awaiting the decision on his extradition.
Córdoba, a renowned senator of the ruling Historical Pact and activist for peace and racial, gender and LGTBI equality, who died of cardiac arrest last Saturday in Medellín, was kidnapped by a criminal gang on the orders of the then paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño, who He was transferred to her and taken to an AUC camp until she was released 18 days later.
Mancuso now recognizes that “his legacy leaves an indelible mark on Colombia’s history and his absence will be deeply felt in future debates and discussions.”
The former AUC commander recently spoke to Córdoba as part of the active trials he is carrying out within the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), and just as he has committed to asking for forgiveness from other victims, he also committed to asking for them to ask for forgiveness.
Specifically, the JEP decided last November to accept Mancuso's request “in an exceptional manner” before the war crimes court created by the 2016 peace agreement with the FARC.
All of this is due to the contributions he made and the revelations that he acted as a “hinge or nexus point between the military and the paramilitary apparatus in macro-crime patterns.”
The AUC, which according to the Truth Commission was the group that committed the most murders during the armed conflict, was demobilized in 2006 after a negotiation process with the government of former President Álvaro Uribe.
As part of the agreement, the former paramilitaries took advantage of the Justice and Peace Act, which provided prison sentences of a maximum of eight years in return for cooperation in solving crimes, but some of the leaders lost these benefits and many, including Mancuso, were eventually convicted Sentences related to drug trafficking extradited to the United States.
Mancuso remains at the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia, waiting for U.S. authorities to work with his lawyers to resolve his immigration situation.
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