Colombian Paramilitary Chief Sentenced To 33 Years In US Court

By Dialogo
November 14, 2011

A Colombian former paramilitary leader has been sentenced to 33 years in prison by a Miami judge after being convicted of drug trafficking and terrorism charges, the Justice Department said.

Carlos Mario Jimenez-Naranjo, also known as “Macaco,” was a leader of the terrorist organization Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), when he was extradited to the United States in 2008 to face US charges for drug trafficking, money laundering and financing terrorism.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in two separate cases in 2010, and was sentenced in May after the cases were combined. The sentence was unsealed on November 9.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said Jimenez-Naranjo had 7,000 men under his command as a leader of the right-wing paramilitary group and “trafficked thousands of kilograms of illegal narcotics to the United States by land, air and sea.”

He led an AUC group called the Bloque Central Bolivar from the mid-1990s through 2007, according to the Justice Department.

The group demobilized between 2003 and 2006, but Colombian authorities discovered that Jimenez-Naranjo was directing criminal activities from prison and he lost legal protections that had been offered under the country’s peace process.

Besides trafficking in cocaine, the group also fought leftist guerrillas for much of its existence and has been blamed for extensive atrocities against civilians.