Colombia’s former peace commissioner said Tuesday that criminal charges brought against him were an act of “revenge” by the prosecutor general, in an interview with Radio W.
Former commissioner Felipe Carlos Restrepo has asserted that after sending Colombia’s Prosecutor General Vivian Morales a letter detailing his knowledge of her husband’s involvement with defunct paramilitary group the AUC, she announced the charges of false demobilization which he now faces.
Restrepo is accused of conspiring with a former guerrilla and drug lord to pay homeless and unemployed people to train and live like FARC rebels, then surrender to security forces.
Restrepo insisted the prosecutor general was lying when she claimed he knew that people were being paid to act as FARC guerrillas, describing Morales as “slanderous, bold and deceitful”.
According to Restrepo, the accusations are a response to a letter he sent Morales describing how he found out in 2004 that Morales’ husband Carlos Alonso Lucio had “acted as an advisor without government permission” during the demobilization of the AUC. He said that following a meeting with former head of the AUC Salvatore Mancuso during this time, Lucio applied for a permit to bring the paramilitary leaders to Venezuela.
Restrepo further claimed that “later Lucio called me and said that Mr. (Muammar) Gaddafi wanted to participate in the process and that we would go to Libya with (Venezuelan president) Hugo Chavez, and that Gaddafi wanted to help with $100,000”.
Restrepo insisted that it was after he sent this letter that Morales announced the charges against him, and that she was acting out of “revenge” as he knew things “that bothered her”. The prosecutor general wanted to “humiliate” him, he added, by putting him in jail with “the worst offenders”.
Restrepo insisted that he spoke out on several occasions about a group of people trying to deceive the Colombian state through false demobilization, and that he was the true victim in all of this. According to Restrepo; “I put my life and my dignity at the service of this nation (…). I demobilized the country’s most dangerous group, and now they trample over me”.