THE GREAT ESCAPE
It was a blistering hot, sunny day in the small cattle town of Puerto Berrío when I realized that the right-wing paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño thought he would escape prosecution for terminating the FARC’s political party, the Unión Patriótica. He believed he could escape because he was a popular man who had fought all the battles no one else would in Colombia. He believed it because he was powerful, commanding an army of close to ten thousand well-trained troops who regularly took on the guerrillas in their strongholds in order to wrench the country back into the hands of the government and the country’s elite. Most of all, Carlos believed he would escape prosecution because he thought that punishing the FARC by killing off the UP was justified. Getting off free was his reward.