Two soldiers who were released by the FARC more than a week ago, told media that one of their colleagues had been executed because his injuries were slowing down the guerrilla unit that had captured them in combat.
After having been returned to the National Army, soldiers Jhonatan Diaz y Paulo Cesar Rivera claimed that the reality of their captivity was much harsher than they had let know in a video released by the FARC after their release.
The video includes an interview with the two captives who said the guerrillas “weren’t rude, where they went they offered me water, whatever they ate they first offered me food, the treatment was excellent, very good,” said Jhonatan Diaz during the FARC interview.
Paulo Cesar Rivera mentioned how it is different to look at things from the other side and that the media misinform the actual conditions of FARC’s war prisoners, emphasizing that they were not kidnapped, but captured during combat like the FARC said.
A week later, after having returned to the Army’s main military base in the capital in Bogota, the soldiers declared that FARC’s objective was to transfer them to Venezuela. Contrasting with their declarations prior to their releasing, they said they were threatened with murder in case of an attempt of liberation by the government, and that they were tied the whole time.
The fully uniformed soldiers confirmed the assassination of their brother in arms, Milton Ruiz Caicedo through a death stroke triggered by a guerrilla member at the moment of their abduction.
“They (the ringleaders), told us that depending on what we would say on the video we might be released (…) you might understand that when one sees so many armed enemies, one has to do what they want,” affirmed Diaz when asked about his declarations on the video published by FARC.
Colombia’s constitution prohibits personnel of the armed forces to make announcements about politics or governmental issues, or to vote while on active duty.
The minister of defense Juan Carlos Pinzon stated that the soldiers will remain in the army without any disciplinary consequences and that it is obvious their declarations on the video were caused by armed pressure.
These declarations occurred a few days after the releasing of a general that was abducted in the Northwestern state of Choco which led the government to suspend the peace talks in Havana.