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Colombian company’s likely linked to paramilitarism

Bogota, May 5 (Prensa Latina) Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro asked on Sunday authorities to inquire into ECOPETROL's former relation with paramilitarism, whose excesses caused the death of workers and inhabitants of Magdalena Medio (north).

Petro further requested the board of directors and the presidency of the aforementioned company to collaborate with the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) in order to clarify the links between the company and the armed groups that acted outside the law.

The president’s pronouncement comes a few days after the transitional justice body ordered ECOPETROL to deliver, before May 25, information on the relations between the public forces and former officials of the refinery located in Barrancabermeja, in Santander, in the northeast.

That entity also requested data on 40 people who, according to Justice and Peace files and victims’ reports, had links with the country’s largest state-owned company and at the same time were attached to paramilitary groups in Magdalena Medio.

This order from the Truth Recognition Chamber comes within the framework of Case 08, which investigates crimes committed by the security forces or state agents in association with paramilitaries or civilian third parties, according to the JEP’s notification in recent days.