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Hebert Veloza's case

Colombia's Justice and Peace process case against former paramilitary commander Hebert Veloza Garcia, alias “H.H.”, is considering the charges of 85 criminal acts committed in the Uraba region. Veloza Garcia is charged with responsibility for cases of torture, kidnapping, forced disappearance, theft, forced recruitment of children, and 105 homicides. This map outlines the locations in the Uraba region where the crimes that will be considered in the judgment were committed.

El Dos

This village in the municipality of Turbo was the site of the demobilization of the Bananero bloc, the name used at that time to unify the Turbo Front, commandeered by Hebert Veloza, and the Arlex Hurtado Front, under the command of Raul Hasbun. There, 447 members of the Turbo Front demobilized on November 25, 2004.

El Tres

This first sentence against Hebert Veloza in the Justice and Peace process includes several crimes committed in the town and villages of the rural township of El Tres, in the municipality of Turbo. In these cases, some of the inhabitants were taken from their homes, their places of work or their places of leisure and were subsequently murdered. Many of the bodies of the victims were dumped in the sector known as "La Caleta".


Some the crimes attributed to Hebert Veloza that will be referred to in this sentence were committed in the rural township of Currulao, in the municipality of Turbo. One of the most serious crimes occurred in the village of La Arenera on December 16, 1995. As established in the hearing to verify the legality of the charges against Hebert Veloza Garcia, Leonel de Jesus Durango, Argemiro Lopez Drago, Alcides Torres Arias and Angel David Quintero Benitez were carried off during a joint incursion by paramilitaries and members of the 17th Brigade. Torres and Quintero are still missing. Veloza acknowledged his responsibility for these crimes.

Nueva Colonia

The Tribunal established that on the road between Nueva Colonia and Riogrande the Turbo front murdered several workers from the banana packing plant for an export company located in the rural township of Nueva Colonia. Cases were presented of people who had been taken from their homes, from their own farms or farms where they worked, from the cock fighting arena, among other places, and then murdered. Mr. Samuel Antonio Jimenez Madera, administrator of the Villa Sonia farm, was intercepted on the road between the village of San Jorge and the rural area of Riogrande when he was taking his three granddaughters to school. He was killed, right there, in front of the girls. Cases like this have left a mark on the lives not only of adults but also of children and adolescents in this town.

Rio Grande

The Justice and Peace authorities included in this case several homicides committed on the roads surrounding the rural township of Riogrande, such as the one that runs between the municipalities of Turbo and Apartado, and the one that leads to Nueva Colonia. The victims of these crimes were for the most part banana farms administrators, transporters, and banana farm workers. Several of the victims' bodies were found in the Palos Blancos sector, located on the road to the dock used for banana exports.


Most of the crimes included in the case against Hebert Veloza were committed in the municipality of Turbo, and especially in its municipal capital. People were murdered in the market, bars and pool halls, shopping centers, on the main street, the port, and the beach, among other places around the municipality. According to legal documents, one of the most affected was the Julia Orozco neighborhood, the site of several paramilitary incursions, murders and massacres.


This judicial process documents serious crimes committed by the Turbo front in the municipality of Apartado, such as the El Golazo massacre, which took place in the neighborhood of Policarpa on April 3, 1966. Ten people that were at the El Golazo pool hall were murdered, and others who were at nearby stores, such as La Charcuteria and the Rambo and Comunal supermarkets were injured.

There are also records of various incursions into banana farms, such as the one that occurred in the banana packing plant in the Alex Pia farm, where militia from the Turbo front ordered that the workers be gathered together. Since they were not obeyed, they opened fire indiscriminately. Two members of the trade union Sintrainagro were killed during this raid.


In the process against Hebert Veloza, the Attorney General's Office documented a case of forced recruitment of minors, which took place in the municipality of Necocli. The victim was an eleven year old boy. There are also documented cases of murders, although to a lesser extent than in other municipalities.


Several murders of members of the Union Patriotica political party, trade union leaders, and members of the Workers' Committee took place in the municipality of Carepa. According to the Attorney General's Office, one of the victims was beheaded. One crime that caused a great impact on this population was the murder of three workers from the Banafinca farm on the road between Zungo and Embarcadero. One of the victims was a member of the Workers' Committee and a delegate to the National Assembly of Sintrainagro.


One of the most serious crimes committed by the Turbo front and included in this Justice and Peace process was the El Aracatzao massacre, which took place in the municipality of Chigorodo. On August 12, 1995, at 9:30 p.m., 18 people, some belonging to the National Agricultural Industry Union, Sintrainagro, and others who were Communist Party members, who were at the El Aracatazo discotheque in the El Bosque neighborhood, were caught by the armed group and ordered to turn off the music and get on the floor. That night 18 people were murdered at the disco.


Only one of the several crimes committed in Churido, municipality of Apartado, is included in the sentence against Hebert Veloza. This is the case of the La Teka farm, in Churido Pueblo, which began with the arrival of strongly armed men from the Turbo front. After identifying themselves and searching each one of the farm's employees, with a list in hand, they took a woman and a man from their camps, allegedly to attend a meeting. The man was a member of Sintrainagro and coordinator of the farm. Their bodies were found the next day with signs of torture.