Former Presidential Adviser: “Army Worked with Paramilitaries to Exterminate Opposition Party”

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 5 June 2011

On June 2nd a former Presidential Adviser from the Virgilio Barco government (1986-1990) provided extraordinary testimony of the fact that the genocide of the left-wing Patriotic Union political party was the result of an alliance between the armed forces, narcotraffickers and paramilitary forces. The testimony comes as part of the legal process protesting that the Patriotic Union had its legal status revoked.

In his testimony, the adviser, Carlos Ossa Escobar, details step-by-step how the Patriotic Union was set up with the main aim of bringing about a peace process in Colombia. He also accused the armed forces of working with paramilitaries and narcotraffickers to eliminate the Patriotic Union. Escobar claims that he received many complaints about the killings of leaders of the Patriotic Union that involved members of the armed forces. “It cost me a lot to accept that part of our armed forces was deeply committed to this macabre process of extermination” he said.

The most disturbing element of his testimony is his description of a meeting with the then Minister of Defence, General Samudio. Escobar commented to him that he was very worried by what was happening with the Patriotic Union – “that every day someone from the UP is being killed” in reply the General is alleged to have looked at him and said “Carlos, at that rate they’ll never finish.”

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