The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has deported Colombian paramilitary leader Hebert Veloza, who is set to be prosecuted in the South American country for criminal charges.
Veloza, also known as “HH,” is accused of murder, forced recruitment of minors and criminal association, among other charges. The right-wing paramilitary leader had been serving time in a U.S. federal prison since 2009 on drug trafficking charges following Colombia’s decision to allow his extradition, AFP reported.
He is currently being held in Bogota, where he arrived after being transported from Alexandria, Virginia.
“The former paramilitary must answer before the Colombian justice system for the crimes of aggravated conspiracy, multiple homicides of protected persons, multiple aggravated homicides, multiple forced displacements and recruitment of minors,” Colombia’s migration department said in a statement.
Veloz, a leader of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia paramilitary group, known as the AUC, had reportedly resigned in 2004, but secretly returned to the group in 2006. The 50-year-old paramilitary chief was later arrested in 2007.
AUC is one of many right-wing paramilitary groups accused of murdering campesinos, social leaders and leftist militants across the country.