Colombia seeks Israelis' arrest

Interpol issued international arrest warrants for three Israeli men wanted in Colombia in connection with the training of drug-traffickers' private armies and right-wing death squads, authorities said.

Colombia seeks Israelis' arrest

Yair Klein, Melnik Ferri and Tzedaka Abraham face charges of criminalconspiracy and instruction in terrorism, said Oscar Galvis, spokesman for Colombia'sdomestic intelligence agency.

The three men instructed private, right-wing armies in "military orterrorist tactics, techniques and procedures," as well as conspiracy, asource at the Department of Administrative Security told the AFP newsagency.

Klein, Ferri and Abraham, who would face 11 years in prison if convicted,are accused of helping set up training camps in the 1990s to teach privatearmies working for drug lords about explosives and high-profile killings. 

Prosecutors say those trained carried out some of Colombia's most notorious politicalassassinations.

The three men are also accused of working for the then powerful Medellin drugs cartel tocreate a personal army for its leader, Pablo Escobar.

The Medellincartel pioneered the use of unrestrained violence in its dealings with enemiesand allies alike.

Some of the fighters trained by the Israelis formed a right-wingparamilitary group, the AUC, which was set up in 1997 by drug traffickers andlandowners to combat rebel kidnappings and extortion.

The AUC carried out massacres and assassinations, targeting left-wing activistswho spoke out against drug traffickers.

Since 2004, AUC fighters have been demobilizing.

Klein, a former lieutenant colonel in the Israeli army, appeared in a 1998video used to train far-right death squads. In 1991, he was convicted and fined$13,400 by an Israeli court for selling arms to Colombia's illegal groups.

Tens of thousands of Colombian civilians have been killed in the 40-yearconflict between the state, right-wing paramilitaries and left-wing rebels.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16