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Colombia warlord could go free July 1

Friday - 6/20/2014, 6:50pm  ET

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- A paramilitary warlord recently sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role in hundreds of murders could go free as early as July 1 because he surrendered in a deal with the government.

Ramon Isaza would be the first major paramilitary released from prison from a batch who surrendered during Alvaro Uribe's 2002-2010 presidency under the so-called "Justice and Peace" law.

It offered a maximum of eight years in prison to paramilitaries who surrendered -- but only if they confessed to all their crimes. Isaza surrendered in 2006 but was only sentenced on May 29.

Rights activists say the 73-year-old Isaza has barely cooperated. While others led authorities to mass graves, Isaza claimed memory problems.

Authorities blame the paramilitaries for more than 150,000 killings since 1980.

The sentence became known Thursday.


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