By Daniel Edgar
The following is a translation of an open letter from Salvatore Mancuso to the ultra-right wing presidential candidate in Colombia, Ivan Duque, protégé of former president (from 2002 to 2010) Alvaro Uribe. Salvatore Mancuso was one of the most notorious paramilitary commanders from the late 1980s until their official demobilization in 2005. He was extradited to the United States several years later in contravention of the terms of the accord pursuant to which the main paramilitary groups formally agreed to demobilize.
Mr Iván Duque Márquez,
I was extradited to the United States during the government of Álvaro Uribe Vélez, in order to avoid [the possibility that we might reveal information about] our patron and all of his associates. We were condemned for crimes against humanity, of which you are very familiar, the abundant cases of massacres, selective assassinations, etc., and I was only convicted for drug trafficking and sentenced to fifteen years of imprisonment, a sentence that was reduced considerably for having cooperated with the judicial process.
Permit me to say that you, just as myself and all of those who have helped our patron ‘Varito’ in some way, to commit all of the horrendous, evil and disastrous crimes that have drowned all of Colombia in blood, and that have left hundreds of thousands of innocent families bereft in the most ignominious grief, and that with perverse consent, with premeditation and cold bloodedness are still being committed.
Crimes, corruption, assassinations, to the point that they become genocides, cutting a person into pieces with a chainsaw and playing football with the head, putting people into a cauldron of boiling water, throwing them to crocodiles, the use of crematorium ovens, including the massacres of hundreds of innocent people, among them Indigenous leaders, farmers, workers, teachers, students, trade union leaders, common people, etc., in summary the poor people of the country.
Doctor Ivan Duque, the river of blood that runs through Colombia is so copious, that already, it arrives to the swimming pool in your own house, for supporting and allowing yourself to be used by those who, cowardly and irresponsibly, act in the darkness, and who moreover, use us like captivated puppets for their malicious plans. Your fate will be worse than mine, because today, those stupid people that accompanied us in the elections so that we would continue governing, are beginning to wake up and gain consciousness to judge us for all of the terrifying harm that we have caused, and you, my esteemed doctor Ivan Duque, will be the first on the list, after our beloved patron, doctor Alvaro Uribe Velez.
There is still time, for you to renounce that hell and the wretched interests that want to occupy ‘the primary magistracy’ of the country, you could still conserve your honour, respect and dignity, already substantially trampled.
From the dark cell of the Atlanta prison.