Former politician Sigifredo Lopez accepted the “justified” public apology issued by Colombian police for wrongly accusing him of participating in his own kidnapping by FARC guerrillas as an “act of respect.”
During a forgiveness ceremony Lopez was critical of the police reports which were the basis for his arrest in May but at the same time was glad that his “miracle” had come to an end.
Following an apology by Director General of the Criminal Investigation Carlos Ramiro Mena, Lopez made a 22-minute speech during which he officially accepted the apology.
“I accept the apology but I learned more justification,” said Lopez.
“They wanted to deny that my case was a miracle…. I am a miracle of god; I was saved by a miracle….I felt like a cockroach crushed by an elephant….Today that elephant is apologizing.”
Lopez was acquitted in September of all charges against him relating to his alleged part in his own kidnapping and that of 11 other politicians in 2002.
His colleagues were assassinated five years later by FARC guerrillas leaving Lopez as the sole survivor of the kidnapped deputies of the Valle del Cauca department.
Initially the Colombian police had failed to comply with Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealegre’s demand that they publicly apologize to Lopez stating that they needed to further investigate the situation and speak directly with Montealegre before making a public apology.
However an apology was finally issued by General Mena at a ceremony which also showed a video of images of Lopez’s life, from his kidnapping to his indictment.
Lopez added afterwards that he and his family would be now able to get on with their lives and put behind them the terrible ordeal.
“As of today, my family and I declare closed this bitter and difficult chapter in our lives. The video images you have all just seen; I hope very soon to be part of the past and just another product of national history infamy,” concluded Lopez.