Colombian paramilitary accused in more than 5,000 killings arrested in Panama



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PANAMA CITY, Panama — Panamanian authorities say they have arrested a fugitive Colombian right-wing militia leader accused in more than 5,000 murders who officials say was posing as a construction company owner.

National police chief Omar Pinzon said Armando Alberto Perez was captured in Veraguas province last weekend.

In Colombia, police director Gen. Rodolfo Palomino said Perez had led 1,500 militiamen who killed at least 5,200 people at the end of the 1990s, burying them in unmarked graves. He said Perez was also accused of ordering the sexual abuse of 39 women.

Perez surrendered to authorities in 2004 as part of a peace pact that then-President Alvaro Uribe forged with Colombia's far-right militias. But he later fled. Officials said Perez drew suspicion in Panama with his a luxurious home and expensive automobiles.

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