By Juan Pablo Patiño, EL COLOMBIANO, November 22, 2022

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Salvatore Mancuso has one final opportunity to get into the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP in Spanish). The special tribunal opened its doors so that the formerly extradited criminal can appear before it and relate, in one single hearing, the whole truth about the paramilitaries and the activities they carried out while he was the commander of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC in Spanish).

The Definition of Legal Situations Branch of the JEP has opened the door to this single hearing, and the ex-paramilitary will have 45 working days, commencing with the notification, to let the JEP know whether or not he is willing to give his support to finding the whole truth.

“The proposal that Mancuso Gómez provides will have to contain, among other things, his effective, complete, and sufficient statements describing the paramilitaries’ criminal organization, its members, methods of operation, the ways in which the crimes were perpetrated, and the support the Colombian government gave to the armed paramilitaries,” reads the JEP’s communication.

With this hearing, the JEP is trying to understand and become familiar with the crimes and their perpetrators that, up to now, have not been fully known to the legal system.

The JEP has opened its doors to Mancuso this time so that he can provide testimony in his status as “a confessed paramilitary commander or leader who was materially embedded with the Armed Forces, carrying out a military function.” The special tribunal has already rejected his appearance as a responsible civilian third party.

The previous testimony by the confessed paramilitary was about events that took place between 1989 and 1997 and until 2004. Sources close to the case explained to EL COLOMBIANO that, if it turns out that the JEP considers Mancuso’s testimony, in this “single hearing to obtain the truth”, to be valuable, it will consider his eventual acceptance for proceedings before the tribunal.

The ball is now in Mancuso’s court. He will be the one who determines whether or not to accept this chance to appear before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.

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