By Clara Inés Chaves R.*, EL ESPECTADOR, September 14, 2020

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Even though Mancuso wants to enter the JEP as a civilian third party who collaborated with the paramilitaries between 1989 and 1997, his return to this country is still in doubt.

Salvatore Mancuso is the key piece in the puzzle of the 139 massacres that he committed, according to the Attorney General’s Office. The massacres include the District (corregimiento) of El Salado, in Carmen de Bolívar; the District (corregimiento) of El Aro, in Ituango Municipality; and the one in the Municipality of Mapiripán. That’s to say, it appears that he has to answer for more than 75,000 crimes.

The foregoing is more than enough reason for the Colombian Foreign Ministry, instead of acting ignorant about the Ministry’s inability to comply with an extradition treaty with the United States that has been in effect for years, to handle the matter correctly, since it involved crimes against humanity, and the rights to peace, reparation for victims, and reconciliation that prevailed over the drug trafficking crimes for which he had been extradited. Instead it appears there were interests that didn’t want the truth to be known.

But perhaps the reasons for that incompetence is the fact that, if Mancuso keeps on telling the truth, it would shake up numerous big shots in our national life.

All of the disparagement that has been spun against the Supreme Court of Justice has not been for no reason. Let’s remember what Mancuso and other paramilitaries said. It was registered in the Verdad Abierta (Open Truth) portal on March 14, and headlined “Mancuso and the Conspiracy Against the Supreme Court”. “They stated that the government of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez extradited several paramilitary chieftains after they refused to ‘collaborate’ in an alleged plot to disparage the Supreme Court of Justice and thus close down the investigations that were being undertaken at that time (2007) against politicians connected to the Self-Defense Forces, among them the President’s cousin, the convicted former Senator Mario Uribe”. Now we can understand all of the scandal that’s been made about the high Court because of the arrest of former President Uribe.

It’s true that Mancuso wants to enter the JEP, since he filed an application that was rejected in June of this year. He filed as a civilian third party who collaborated or financed the paramilitaries between 1989 and 1997, before he joined the AUC. His purpose was to tell his truth about the alleged connection of former President Uribe with the AUC, even though that puts his return to this country in doubt, since the United States, after he served 15 years there for drug trafficking, is helping him take advantage of the laws against torture and cruel treatment, which will allow him to bring his family.

The problem is based on the fact that, since the Executive is in charge of the agencies of control, what guarantee will the judicial branch and the people of Colombia have that those agencies will respect law and order and the Rule of Law, that the truth will be told, and all of those involved in those crimes against humanity will go down.

Democracy and the Rule of Law are endangered right now, because there are a few who want to destroy them and impose impunity and dictatorship in their place.

* Writer and former diplomat

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