Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office presented on Wednesday 140 new arrest orders against civilian political leaders suspected of being FARC collaborators, following the arrest of 29 suspected collaborators in the same southwestern department earlier in the month, according to sources from within the Colombian army.
On June 9, the 29 arrested political leaders, primarily representatives of indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in the area, were accused of providing protection and corridors for guerilla movement. They were reportedly captured in the municipalities of Caloto, Corinto, Guachene and Miranda in the Cauca department where the FARC’s sixth and 30th Fronts and the “Jacobo Arenas” column are particularly strong.
The army source said the 140 new arrest warrants are for politicians from the same region, also alleged to have aided the guerrilla group, according to newspaper El Pais.
The lawyers of the 29 detained political leaders claim their clients have not received a legitimate defense and question the decision to put the civilians in military custody.
In Colombia the practice of established politicians collaborating with the banned guerrilla group is known as “FARC Politics.” One of the most publicized cases involved former senator Piedad Cordoba, who in 2010 was accused of abusing her authority as negotiator by including elements that were “not about humanitarian aid” in her communication with the FARC.