Hebert Veloza Garcia was born on July 4, 1967 in Trujillo, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
He worked harvesting coca leaves in the department of Guaviare, in the eastern part of the country, and as a driver for private and public companies in Bogota, in Acacias (Meta) and in the Uraba region.
In late 1994, he joined the paramilitaries in the village of Villanueva, municipality of Valencia, Cordoba. He received military training in the farms known as “La 35” and La Jaraguay. The former is located between the villages of El Tomate and San Pablo (Antioquia) and the latter in Valencia (Cordoba).
Hebert Veloza was a guard for the group called “Los Escorpiones,” under the command of Ivan Alvarez, alias “Gabriel”, and in 1996 he was assigned to the command of the Turbo front, part of the Bananero bloc, under the direction of Vicente Castaño. The brothers Fidel, Vicente, and Carlos Castaño lead the creation of paramiliary groups in the Uraba region, which was under their control during the 1990´s.
In 2000, he assumed the command of the Calima block of the United Self-Defense Forces (AUC), formed primarily by the Calarca, Calima, La Buitrera, and Pacific fronts. He used several different aliases during that period, including “Carepollo,” “Don Hernan,” “Mono Veloza,” “Hernan Hernandez,” and “H.H.”
Under the ordinary justice system, Veloza Garcia has been linked to 222 investigations; he has 42 convictions; 42 plea bargains; 38 arrest warrants; nine pending processes; seven processes in the investigative stage; three suspended processes; and one acquittal. The verdict that will be delivered in the case of Veloza on October 30, 2013, is his first in the Justice and Peace process and is circumscribed to the crimes committed as commander of the Turbo front, which include 105 homicides, in addition to cases of torture, kidnapping, forced disappearance, theft, and forced recruitment of minors, among others.
Read more about the case of Hebert Veloza Garcia here
FOTO: Former paramilitary commander Hebert Veloza García, alias ¨H.H.¨, in an interview from the Colombian news program ¨Contravía¨. Courtesy of Contravía.