The explosive statements made before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) by the former manager of the Córdoba Livestock Fund and former governor of that department Benito Antonio Osorio Villadiego caused the focus on the alleged links between ranchers and paramilitaries to fall on the president of the Colombian Federation of Ranchers (Fedegán) since 2004, Jose Felix Lafaurie.
It should be remembered that, according to Osorio, in July 2005 Lafaurie had a meeting with him at Los Garzones de Montería airport. “As soon as he got into the car that I was driving, he told me that he had a private meeting with Salvatore Mancuso. In fact, he contacted him, we contacted him, and Salvatore Mancuso set up the house where he had lived with his ex-wife, Mrs. Marta Dereix, in the La Castellana neighborhood, as a meeting place,” said the convicted parapolitician before the peace court.
After several days of silence, Lafaurie spoke on January 20, but he did not do so in a personal capacity but through a statement issued by Fedegán.
There he pointed out that Osorio lies just as he did before the courts of Justice and Peace in 2011. He said that those accusations had circulated ten years ago to seek favors from designated criminals, and from that very moment, Osorio’s credibility was dismissed, for which he ended up sentenced to 19 years in prison.
The rancher took asides from the hearing before the JEP to dismiss what the former governor said. “Osorio accepted in court proceedings that ‘I suffer from bipolar affective disorder that permanently defeats me (…)’. In addition, it should be noted that only a sociopath confesses, casually, that ‘…I was in the mood of an arsonist. I liked to see the candle on those shacks where the peasants lived’”, pointed out the president of Fedegan.
He also said that this confession comes to light with a political background behind it and that they are being raised by the left. “Not only as part of its usual objective, to stigmatize the livestock guild, but to tarnish María Fernanda Cabal’s campaign for the Senate of the Republic with infamies. The left does not rest,” Lafaurie said.