Colombia’s former peace commissioner to be charged over fake FARC demobilization

Colombia’s former peace commissioner will be criminally charged Tuesday for his alleged role in faking the demobilization of a group of FARC guerrillas, the country’s prosecutor general announced Monday.

According to a press release, the Prosecutor General’s Office has officially asked the Supreme Court for a hearing in which charges will be brought.

Luis Carlos Restrepo, who was the government’s peace commissioner under former President Alvaro Uribe, has been accused of conspiring with a former guerrilla and a drug lord to stage the demobilization of the non-existent Cacica Gaitana front.

According to the allegations, the government official plotted with imprisoned FARC guerrilla “Olivo Saldaña” and a drug trafficker to gather homeless and unemployed people from the Tolima department, offer them $278 to train, live and act like FARC guerrillas, then surrender to security forces.

Other state officials implicated in the case are former army commander Mario Montoya and the ex-director of Military Intelligence in Tolima, Colonel Jaime Joaquin Aldana.

Saldaña, who founded the NGO Manos Por La Paz for demobilized guerrillas, has already been stripped of his benefits and is back in prison because of the fake demobilization.

Restrepo is also under investigating for allegedly aiding fake demobilizations of right-wing paramilitary organization AUC.

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