Thirty-five members of the U.S. Congress have asked Attorney General Michael Mukasey to vigorously prosecute Colombian paramilitary leaders extradited last month to the United States for drug-trafficking crimes.
The request, contained in a letter to Mukasey dated July 3, also asked the attorney general to ensure that U.S. prosecutors cooperate fully and expeditiously with Colombian authorities, including prosecutors and investigators in the Attorney General's office, the Inspector General's office and Supreme Court, as well as the Ombudsman and individual judges, in their investigations of leaders of the AUC paramilitary group. Those probes are aimed at identifying and dismantling their network of collaborators in Colombia.
"These unprecedented investigations are still at early stages, and much more needs to be done to ensure that Colombia effectively breaks the influence of the paramilitaries in its political and military systems," the letter's signatories said.
The 35 lawmakers ask Mukasey not to lose sight of the horrific crimes committed by paramilitaries in Colombia and the need for justice for their victims and their families residing in Colombia.
The letter was coordinated by Representatives James P. McGovern (D-MA) and George Miller (D-CA), who visited Colombia in January.
Click here to read the letter.