Home News ‘Jorge 40’ told how he met Mancuso and Castaño as heads of the AUC

‘Jorge 40’ told how he met Mancuso and Castaño as heads of the AUC

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Before two magistrates of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, JEP, the former paramilitary chief of the Northern Bloc of the AUC, Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, aka Jorge 40began his statement by telling how he went from being a young professional worker in Valledupar to joining the ranks of paramilitaries.

In the same way, he detailed the dark panorama of violence that the Vallenato people endured for many years due to the guerrilla presence of the ELN that extorted thousands of families under the figure of war tax.

Some activities that, according to his criteria, alternated with the kidnappings that they carried out openly a few minutes from the Public force without any consequences, thus leaving thousands of victims between the period of 1993 a 1995among those members of his own family such as his brother-in-law, his brother, his cousin and even his father.

“I had to pay a fee (extortion) of $1.500.000 to the guerrillas and, nevertheless, to be paying it, in the year 1995 they tried to kidnap my father, we were three minutes away from the La Popa Battalion and a new commander (of the guerrilla) had arrived who was still in La Mesa”, said Tovar Pupo.

Until one day in a national media he saw an interview of Carlos Castano as commander of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, AUC, in which he felt persuaded in some respects.

“After that interview that came out in a magazine with national circulation, I find in this man’s responses some coincidences of what my conviction and conscience were beginning to dictate to me; that led me at the end of 95 to the concern of finding out what were the self-defense groupsI hear that in Cesar’s department there was already self-defense, which I was unaware of”added Tovar Pupo.

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Later, he traveled to the municipality of Pailitas, in the center of Cesar, where he was able to observe the first members of the AUC and in Bosconia he managed to talk to one of the leaders known by the alias Jimmy.

Rodrigo Tovar asked the latter to arrange an appointment with Commander Castaño, but he replied that he better meet with the closest chief in the area, who was Salvatore Mancuso.

“Jimmy tells me to introduce myself on the third floor, from the room where a man was, I arrive, introduce myself and some security men arrive… I enter and he introduces himself to me (Salvatore Mancuso), he tells me that he is the person commissioned by Carlos Castaño, head of the Córdoba and Urabá Peasant Self-Defense Forces, for expansion on the Atlantic coast.”Tovar pointed out.

He explained that at that time the Northern Bloc of the AUC that he came to direct did not exist, and that it began as ‘collaborator’.

The audience It was suspended to continue this Friday.

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