Colombia arrests ex-paramilitary chief after US deportation

Bogota (AFP) –


Colombian authorities on Monday arrested former right-wing paramilitary leader Rodrigo Tovar on his arrival in the country after he was deported from the United States.

Tovar arrived in Bogota on a deportation flight from the United States after serving a 12-year prison sentence for drug trafficking.

Also known as Jorge 40, Tovar was a leader of one of Colombia's most feared paramilitary groups, fighting a bloody turf war against the country's leftist guerrillas in the 1990s.

"He is already at the disposal of immigration and judicial authorities, and will have to answer to justice and his victims," Colombia's High Commissioner for Peace, Miguel Ceballos, said on Twitter.

He has long been wanted by Colombian authorities over his alleged involvement in atrocities committed by the now defunct United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia during the country's multi-decade conflict.

He was extradited to the United States in 2008 on cocaine trafficking charges.