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Mancuso says they proposed to kill Chavez by participating in a coup in Venezuela

Mancuso says they proposed to kill Chavez by participating in a coup in Venezuela
In this Aug. 4, 2021, file photo, former head of paramilitary groups, Salvador Mancuso, speaks in a video call before the Truth Commission in Bogotá, Colombia. EFE/ Juan Diego Lopez

Colombia's former paramilitary chief, Salvador Mancuso, confirmed this Tuesday that armed groups had proposed years ago that then-President Hugo Chavez, who died of natural causes in 2013, take part in a coup in Venezuela.

At that time they asked us to participate in a coup and the assassination of President Chávez. that is truthMancuso said in an interview with Colombia's public radio and television station RTVC, without elaborating.

Mancuso explained that the chapter on paramilitarism “remains truth (…) it lies in facts told” in the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).

This is one of the pending truths that at some point the country, the world, Venezuela will have to tell.“The former deputy army chief said today he would not say who or who made the request.

Mancuso was extradited from the United States to Colombia on February 27, where he served a 15-year sentence for drug trafficking, and has since been held at La Picota prison in Bogotá, where he is being tried for more than 75,000 crimes.

He also mentioned former Colombian President Alvaro Uri, a former paramilitary chief who says Mancuso returned to the country to accuse the United Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) of crimes.

Uribe is not important to me, I did not come for revenge, I came for revenge because he exiled me (…) I am not interested in Uribe and I believe the country is not interested in Uribe either because Uribe is not a friend of peace.“, said.

However, Mancuso asserted that former President Uribe had betrayed several paramilitary leaders to the United States. “Of course he betrayed us. Certain conditions were agreed upon with President Uribe to advance the peace process, but then he broke his word and deported us.“.

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Mancuso laid down his arms in 2006, as did the majority of members of the AUC, the group responsible for most of the crimes committed during the armed conflict according to the Truth Commission.

His mobilization was carried out after negotiations with the Uribe government (2002-2010), but along with other paramilitary leaders he was deported in 2008 to face trial for drug trafficking as they continued to commit crimes in the country.

Last Monday, the JEP agreed to take up investigations against Mancuso on a priority basis.

Last July, Colombia's president, Gustavo Pedro, appointed Mancuso “peace manager” to complete a peace process that he believes has not ended with paramilitaries. EFE