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:
- Javier Antonio Quintero Coronel
- José Lenin Molano Medina
- Armando Madariaga Picón
- Alfredo Ballena, alias Rancho
- Carlos García Barrera, alias Veneno
- Alberto Pérez Avendaño, alias Ramoncito
- Alfredo García Tarazona, alias Arley
- Audilio Barrientos, alias Barbao
- Ciro Pacheco Carrascal, alias Estiven
- Fabio Herrera Vergel, alias Albeiro
- Felipe García Velandia, alias Pecas
- Fredy Contreras Estevez, alias Beto
- Fredy Ramiro Pedraza Gómez, alias Chicote
- Héctor Julio Carvajalino, alias Raya
- Jesús Johany Lamus García, alias Chupete
- Jesús Pacheco Carpio, alias Tripa
- José Antonio Hernández Villamizar, alias Jhon
- Manuel de Jesús Solano España, alias Policía
- Nelson Alberto Gómez Silva, alias Mico
- Noe Jimenez Ortiz, alias Negro Jiménez
- Rafael Emilio Ramírez Hernández, alias Memo
- Ramon de Jesús Meneses Parada, alias Montoya
- Roberto Prada Delgado, alias Robert Junior
- Wilman Rafael Ortiz Guevara, alias el Indio
- Xavier Estrada Martínez, alias Patascoy
- Wilfredo Galvis Cuadros, alias Cojito
- Jhon Fernando Galvis Díaz, alias Jayo
- Naider Habraham Issa Reyes, alias Alex Faraón
- César Augusto Rivero Medina