FARC guerrilla wants to turn state witness in false demobilization case

A former guerrilla who staged a fake FARC demobilization wants to turn state witness against allegedly complicit former state officials, news network Noticias Uno reported Monday.

According to the network, former FARC guerrilla “Olivo Saldaña” has accepted the charges against him and wants to open the books on how the fake 2006 demobilization was set up.

The scandal over the staged demobilization of dozens of members of the non-existent Cacica Gaitana guerrilla front has incriminated government officials as senior as former Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo and former Army commander Mario Montoya.

According to witnesses and the suspect himself, Saldaña gathered civilians, dressed and armed them like guerrillas to then stage a public demobilization that was highly publicized in Colombian media and hailed as a moral victory in the government’s fight against the FARC.

Saldaña was named “peace manager” by former President Alvaro Uribe and was one of the leading figures of Manos por la Paz, a controversial NGO that on several occasions accused human rights and peace organizations of collaborating with guerrilla groups.

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