July 4 1998
Focus Interview with Werner Mauss:
Fear of death in Colombian prison
Munich. In an interview with Focus news magazine “private” agent Werner Mauss and his wife Ida have talked for the first time about their nine-month imprisonment in Colombia. Mauss tells of his nightly fear of being murdered in his cell by right-wing paramilitaries and how his death would then have been sold to the media as the suicide of a desperate man. For days on end he and his wife could hear the screams of tortured prisoners. Ida Mauss talks about mental torture and about how she found herself, at Christmas of all times, facing the prospect of a 60-year prison sentence.
Mauss tells FOCUS that the German government was informed about the circumstances with regard to the peace talks that he had helped set up in Mainz. He brought six of the ELN guerrilla leaders secretly to Germany and to the Mainz peace talks held under the direction of the Bishop of Mainz, Karl Lehmann.
ELN military chief Pablo Beltrán made clear to FOCUS that the guerrillas would be in a position to offer a ceasefire at the next round of talks in Mainz on July 12th. In return, an investigation into the terror of the Colombian death squads would be expected.