Colombian officials have found the remains of 760 victims killed by right-wing paramilitary groups, and have leads on another 4,000 bodies, a state prosecutor said, according to news reports Tuesday.
Prosecutor Luis Gonzalez, who heads a task force which works with demobilized paramilitaries, told the daily ‘El Pais’ newspaper that the bodies, buried in mass graves, were found with the help of information supplied by former paramilitary leaders.
The leads have helped authorities identify 250 of the bodies recovered so far, many of whom are believed to be victims of the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia.
The group, which goes by the Spanish acronym AUC, is the largest of several private armies organized in the 1980s -- ostensibly to protect landholders from leftist guerrillas -- and consolidates several local and regional paramilitary organizations.
The AUC has been accused of drug trafficking and massacring civilians, and the government is attempting to break their hold on areas of Colombia by persuading them to demobilize.
Since a pact between the government and the AUC in April 2006, some 3,200 combatants have surrendered to the government.
Last Mod: 20 Haziran 2007, 10:57