Colombia’s former senate president won a lawsuit against the State and is tentatively set to receive close to $440 thousand as compensation for two years he was held hostage by rebel group ELN.
According to local media, the Administrative Tribunal of the Department of Santander‘s ruling is still in appeal and under review of the Third Section of the State Council. Senator Juan Manuel Corzo’s victory is assured, it is only the amount that is under review.
The court’s decision acknowledged negligence on behalf of Colombia’s largest airline, Avianca, and the Colombian government. In 1999, the ELN hijacked a plane in Bucaramanga and took Corzo and others hostage. According to the Senator’s lawsuit, airport security failed to take the necessary precautions to ensure passenger’s safety.
“The Civil Aviation and the State must ensure the safety of anyone who gets on a plane…[on the day in question] no controls were used to detect if someone was bringing in weapons…and the lack of metal detectors…facilitated the guerrillas get[ting] weapons,” said Corzo’s lawyer, Edgar Cortez.
“In my case there was neglect [on behalf] of DAS, Avianca and lack of control at the airport,” said the senator.
Corzo also stated that the money will be invested in social causes.
“I am part of a foundation for sick children,” said the senator. “We [Corzo’s family] had a shelter for a long time and we want to make a home for farmers in Norte de Santander for farmers who have bad healthcare.”