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Colombian Warlord Mancuso Repatriated After U.S. Drug Sentence

In this photo released by the Colombian Immigration agency, migration officials meet former Colombian paramilitary leader, Salvatore Mancuso, at the gate of the plane at El Dorado International Airpor

Colombian warlord Salvatore Mancuso has been repatriated to Colombia after serving a drug trafficking sentence in the United States. Mancuso, who was denied requests to be sent to Italy where he also holds citizenship, arrived in Bogota's El Dorado Airport on a charter flight along with other deportees from the U.S.

Upon his arrival, Mancuso was taken into police custody and is now in prison in Colombia. He was a key figure in the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia, a paramilitary group involved in the armed conflict against leftist rebels in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Human rights organizations and government officials in Colombia are hopeful that Mancuso will cooperate with the justice system and provide information about the numerous crimes committed during the conflict. He has been held responsible for over 1,500 acts of murder and disappearances.

Mancuso's extradition to the U.S. in 2008 had slowed investigations into war crimes in Colombia. However, his return to Colombia is seen as a crucial step towards seeking truth and justice for the victims of the conflict.

Despite being in prison, Mancuso has been given a special designation by the current administration to play a role in peace negotiations. The Colombian government is currently engaged in peace talks with various rebel groups in an effort to achieve lasting peace in the region.

As Mancuso settles back in Colombia, there is anticipation that he may reveal information about the involvement of high-ranking politicians, multinational companies, and businessmen in supporting paramilitary groups. This could potentially shed light on the complex web of relationships that fueled the conflict.

While concerns about Mancuso's safety persist due to the sensitive nature of the information he possesses, his return to Colombia is seen as a significant development in the quest for reconciliation and peace in the country.

For more news on Latin America and the Caribbean, visit AP's coverage.

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