This June 9, the Justice and Peace Chamber of the Superior Tribunal of Bogotá sentenced Juan Francisco Prada Márquez, alias Juancho Prada, former commander of Héctor Julio Peinado Becerra front of the Self-Defense  Forces  of  Colombia  (Autodefensas  Unidas  de  Colombia  AUC) for multiple offenses that caused 3,385 victims (1,688 direct victims and 1,697 indirect victims).

The conviction which also involves 29 other ‘postulados’*, is based on an investigation carried out by a prosecutor’s office attached to the Transitional Justice Office which collected evidentiary documents of 465 criminal actions.

Thus, the Judiciary sentenced them for murder offenses, enforced disappearance, forced displacement, illegal recruitment of minors, gender-based violence, among others offenses.

According to the evidence collected, the Héctor Julio Peinado Becerra front committed crimes from 1992 to March 2006 in the municipalities of southern Cesar, such as San Alberto, San Martín, Aguachica, Gamarra and Río de Oro; also in Ocaña, Abrego and La Playa de Belén (Norte de Santander).

Some of the facts that were attributed to this paramilitary structure and that led to the conviction, are:

· Murder of Rosalba Contreras de Castro, who served as secretary of the Municipal Court in El Carmen, perpetrated on August 25, 2000 in the rural settlement known as Cangrejo, in Río de Oro (Cesar).

· Murder of María Elena Gómez Naranjo, which took place on June 10, 1996 in San Alberto (Cesar). The victim was the director of the hospital in that municipality.

· Massive displacement – Bella Cruz farm, which took place between February 15 and 16, 1996. The properties are located in municipalities named La Gloria, Pelaya, and Pailitas in southern Cesar. 

· Massive displacement – Villa Oliva farm on August 16, 1994, in rural settlement El Diviso, in the municipality of San Martín (Cesar).

· Massacre in Puerto Patiño 1 which was carried out on June 29 and 30, 1994, in a small town named Puerto Patiño in the municipality of Aguachica and in a small town named El Marqués located in Río de Oro, both in the Department of Cesar. Four people were killed.

· Massacre Puerto Patiño 2, which took place on January 14, 1995, in the same small town of Puerto Patiño, Aguachica in which seven people were killed, another one  was a victim of torture and displacement, and another one was a victim of forced disappearance.

· Massacre of Paloquemao, committed on February 8, 1999, when four people were killed in Abrego (Norte de Santander).

The other ‘postulados’ of the Héctor Julio Peinado Becerra front who were convicted are:

  1. Javier Antonio Quintero Coronel
  2. José Lenin Molano Medina
  3. Armando Madariaga Picón
  4. Alfredo Ballena, alias Rancho
  5. Carlos García Barrera, alias Veneno
  6. Alberto Pérez Avendaño, alias Ramoncito
  7. Alfredo García Tarazona, alias Arley
  8. Audilio Barrientos, alias Barbao
  9. Ciro Pacheco Carrascal, alias Estiven
  10. Fabio Herrera Vergel, alias Albeiro
  11. Felipe García Velandia, alias Pecas
  12. Fredy Contreras Estevez, alias Beto
  13. Fredy Ramiro Pedraza Gómez, alias Chicote
  14. Héctor Julio Carvajalino, alias Raya
  15. Jesús Johany Lamus García, alias Chupete
  16. Jesús Pacheco Carpio, alias Tripa
  17. José Antonio Hernández Villamizar, alias Jhon
  18. Manuel de Jesús Solano España, alias Policía
  19. Nelson Alberto Gómez Silva, alias Mico
  20. Noe Jimenez Ortiz, alias Negro Jiménez
  21. Rafael Emilio Ramírez Hernández, alias Memo
  22. Ramon de Jesús Meneses Parada, alias Montoya
  23. Roberto Prada Delgado, alias Robert Junior
  24. Wilman Rafael Ortiz Guevara, alias el Indio
  25. Xavier Estrada Martínez, alias Patascoy
  26. Wilfredo Galvis Cuadros, alias Cojito
  27. Jhon Fernando Galvis Díaz, alias Jayo
  28. Naider Habraham Issa Reyes, alias Alex Faraón
  29. César Augusto Rivero Medina
*Postulado: a term used to refer to demobilized members of illegal armed groups who postulated to obtain a benefit from the Justice and Peace Law.