Photo: Kidnapped Colombian Politician was fed to Crocodiles
A demobilized right-wing militiaman told Colombian prosecutors that a politician missing since October 2000 died after being thrown alive into a crocodile pit on the orders of a paramilitary commander, Caracol Radio said Thursday.
The fate of Pablo Vicente Perez was revealed by Alfredo Argel, who served in the Colombian army before joining one of the militias affiliated with the now-defunct AUC federation.
Around 30,000 AUC combatants laid down their arms under a pact that offers most of them relatively light punishment in exchange for full confessions to their role in the tens of thousands of deaths blamed on the militias.
Argel was asked about Pablo Perez while testifying Wednesday in the Caribbean city of Barranquilla.
The question was submitted by a brother of Perez who was watching the session via satellite link.
Pablo Perez, a political leader in the town of El Carmen de Bolivar, was last seen on Oct. 15, 2000, in the hands of members of Argel’s militia.
Perez’s brother fainted after hearing Argel describe how Pablo was fed to the crocodiles on a militia-owned farm in El Carmen, Caracol Radio said.
Argel suggested Pablo Perez’s murder was ordered by the man who was then in charge of the militia unit, Luis Francisco Robles.
Formed in the mid-1980s with the ostensible aim of protecting farmers and ranchers from leftist guerrillas, the AUC degenerated into a loose alliance of death squads whose commanders grew wealthy from drugs, extortion, cattle rustling and land seizures.