FARC leader alias “Romaña” has been sentenced to 22 years, nine months in prison in absentia for orchestrating numerous attacks and kidnappings in the Meta department, Colombian media reported Tuesday.
The Prosecutor General’s Office presented sufficient evidence for a judge in the central Colombian department’s capital city of Villavicencio to sentence Henry Castellanos Garzon, alias “Romaña,” for terrorism, conspiracy to commit crimes and aggravated theft. During the sentencing, the judge also reiterated the order for the guerrilla leader’s arrest, reported RCN radio.
According to material presented by the investigative body, residents of La Uribe (Meta) reported that they had been victims of displacement, theft, threats and homicide by FARC guerrillas on the orders of Castellanos Garzon. The sentence also resulted from testimonies from various demobilized guerrillas who confirmed the responsibility of “Romaña” in the acts.
The judge’s reiteration of the arrest warrant runs contrary to Colombian army statements that confirmed the guerrilla’s death in the 2010 “Operation Sodoma,” in which the FARC’s former second-in-command, alias “Mono Jojoy,” was also killed, as reported by news agency Europapress on September 24, 2010. A day earlier, newspaper Semana had reported that authorities were still working to establish the identity of the guerrilla that had died along with Jojoy.
Castellanos Garzon joined the FARC in the 1980’s and served as a member of the group’s Eastern Bloc. He is also part of the elite group of subversives formed by the organization’s deceased co-founder Manuel Marulanda, alias “Tirofijo,” and one of the men in charge of the Mono Jojoy security ring.
Romaña reportedly organized various mass kidnappings on the route from Bogota to Villavicencio, including a 1995 attack for which he, “Alfonso Cano” and four other guerrillas were also sentenced in absentia by a Bogota judge in August 2010.