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Liberals wants justice to investigate which president supported creation, training paramilitary groups

posted by Adriaan Alsema
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Juan Manuel Galan

Colombia’s Liberal Party said Tuesday it wants the country’s judicial authorities to investigate allegations made by Israeli mercenary Yair Klein who had testified that a Colombian ex-president took part in the creation and training of paramilitary groups in the 1980s.

Yair Klein, who provided military training to death squads of the Medellin cartel and right-wing paramilitary groups in the 1980s, testified in the case against one of the paramilitaries claiming that ““one of the trainees later became president of Colombia…he was one of the landowners who paid for the training.”

The israeli mercenary would not reveal the name of the former president, “because you know exactly who it is.”

Liberal Party senator Juan Manuel Galan, whose father was murdered by death squads in 1989, asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate Klein’s assertions and find out who was behind the training of paramilitary groups who between 1985 and 2005 committed tens of thousands of human rights violations.

“I think that is key to the historic truth. Many victims in this country are waiting to know [what happened] to apply justice and obtain the truth about these episodes in the 1980s, which are perhaps the most painfl in the recent history of our country,” Galan was quoted as saying by W Radio.

Yair Klein, who testified via teleconference from Israel, has been sentenced to prison in Colombia for training the death squads that later formed the AUC, a vigilante group initially created to protect rich landowners from guerrilla attacks and kidnappings, but later became one of the worst violators of human rights in the history of Colombia and the main drug trafficking organization in Colombia, until it officially disbanded between 2003 and 2006.

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Adriaan Alsema is the founder and editor-in-chief of Colombia Reports. Born and raised a Dutchman, Adriaan has been living in Colombia since 2008.

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