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  • Ex-paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso (L),Colombia.

    Ex-paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso (L),Colombia. | Photo: Twitter/ @soyrobinramos

Published 26 August 2020
Opinion

The crimes of paramilitary Salvatore Mancuso will go unpunished if the U.S. send him to Italy.

Colombia's Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) Tuesday announced that it will take measures to protect the rights of the citizens who were victims of the United Self-Defense Force (AUC) former Commander Salvatore Mancuso.

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In May 2008, during the administration of President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010), Mancuso was extradited from Colombia to the United States. Currently, however, he might be deported to his home country (Italy) as his sentence for the crime of drug trafficking ended in July.

On August 21, human rights defenders and lawyers requested measures to extradite Mancuso to the South American country and prevent his deportation to Italy.

"The government has the obligation to investigate, judge, and punish those responsible for serious human rights violations linked to the massacres of Pueblo Bello (1990), Valle Jaramillo (1998), and Ituango (2002)," CEJIL Director Viviana Krsticevic said.

"The former paramilitary's deportation to Italy would seriously affect the right to justice and truth that its victims have. It would also generate a precedent of impunity," the Colombian Commission of Jurists (CCJ) Director Gustavo Gallon explained.

So far this year, Colombia has processed three extradition requests on Mancuso, which have been either rejected due to minor formal errors or withdrawn by President Ivan Duque's administration.

"This negligence could make it impossible for Mancuso to serve the sentences that have been imposed by our justice system," the CEJIL pointed out.

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