Survivors of Colombian Paramilitary Violence Testify in US Case


On Friday, survivors of one of Colombia's most brutal right-wing paramilitary leaders will testify against him in a Washington, D.C. court during his sentencing hearing on drug trafficking charges.

Hernán Giraldo Serna — former commander of a battalion of the right-wing United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC — is the last of 14 paramilitary leaders extradited to the U.S. in 2008 by then-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to face drug trafficking charges, just as they were about to go on trial in Colombia for human rights abuses.

Rather than facing justice for those abuses — including the documented murders of hundreds of Indigenous leaders and leftist organizers, as well as brutal sexual violence perpetrated against girls as young as 9-years-old — Giraldo is likely to receive as little as 10 years in a U.S. jail after having pled guilty to trafficking tons of cocaine.

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