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  HOME | Colombia (Click here for more)

Colombian Colonel Sentenced for 1989 Assassination

BOGOTA Ė A retired colonel who held a senior post in Colombiaís now-defunct DAS security service was sentenced on Friday to 22 years in prison for his role in the 1989 assassination of reformist presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan.

Col. Manuel Antonio Gonzalez Henriquez, 75, the DAS No. 2 at the time of Galanís murder during a rally in the Bogota suburb of Soacha, was found guilty of homicide for terrorist ends.

The court acquitted another defendant, Capt. Luis Felipe Montilla Barbosa, who was the police commander in Soacha in 1989.

The then-chief of DAS, Gen. Miguel Maza Marquez, was sentenced last year to 30 years for the Galan killing, while former Justice Minister Alberto Santofimio Botero got a prison term of 24 years for his involvement in the plot.

Gonzalez, who headed the DAS executive-protection division, was found to have made changes to Galanís security detail that facilitated the assassination.

The shooting death of the 45-year-old politician, the favorite to succeed then-President Virgilio Barco, was blamed on an alliance between the Medellin cartel, headed by late drug lord Pablo Escobar, and political sectors and state agents opposed to the restoration of an extradition treaty with the United States.

Galan had declared himself an enemy of the cartels and promised, despite death threats, to extradite drug kingpins to the United States if elected.

 

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