BOGOTA, Colombia – Colombian authorities say they have captured a Roman Catholic priest who ran a far-right militia and has been sentenced in absentia to 19 years in prison.
Prosecutors say the band that the Rev. Oscar Albeiro Ortiz ran in a town near Medellin was engaged in murder and extortion for nearly a decade.
Authorities say Ortiz created the group in the town of San Antonio de Prado, recruiting paramilitaries who had ostensibly disbanded under a peace pact with the government.
Ortiz was arrested in 2010 but cleared by a lower court. Prosecutors won a conviction in August but Ortiz was by then a fugitive.
Prosecutors said he was captured Thursday night.
Authorities say investigators using wiretaps had overheard Ortiz fingering people as leftist rebels who later turned up murdered.