A judge denied “emerald czar” Pedro Rincon’s request to attend his son’s funeral after he died on Thursday night following serious complications sustained during an attack last year in central Colombia believed to have been aimed at his father, reported national media.
Pedro Rincon, also known as “Pedro Orejas,” is currently serving a sentence in Picaleña prison in the central Colombian city of Ibague for trafficking, manufacturing and possession of illegal firearms and was denied permission to attend the funeral in accordance with a new penalty code “prohibiting the granting of exceptional leave for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Criminal Court of Specialized Circuit,” the judge told El Tiempo.
The judge did, however, grant permission for the funeral to be broadcasted online and ordered the coffin to be transported to Ibague Prison, where Rincon was reportedly allowed 20 minutes with his son.
Peter Simon Rincon, 23, died Thursday night after fighting for his life for two months following shrapnel injuries which resulted in the amputation of his leg and an infection that caused blood clotting. The complications eventually killed the 23-year-old, who died of fulminant cardiac arrest from the blood clots. Peter Simon had been hospitalized at Foundation Santa Fe in Bogota following the grenade attack in the town Pauna in the central Colombia state of Boyaca.
Authorities of Boyaca fear the death of Rincon’s son could trigger potential violence within the region, according to El Tiempo. Central Colombia has been the site of a historically bloody struggle for control of the profitable emerald-mining industry.
In a letter read aloud at the funeral, Rincon mourned his son, whom he called his “pillar,” and asked that his death be a motivator for peace, rather than conflict in the emerald-mining region.
“I want to ask in memory of the innocent who died from the attack they did to me, do not let anyone or anything steal our peace, that peace which I have always invited to build and defend to the end regardless of the misconceptions about me […]”
During the ceremony Bishop of Engativá Hector Gutierrez Pabon also pleaded for peace in the Boyaca region. “Peace for Western Boyacá, to achieve consistency and forgiveness (…) Peace will come through (…) this 23-year-old, who was studying engineering. Peace will come through it,” he said.
Emerald entrepreneurs and spokesmen from the church will reportedly meet Monday to discuss how to maintain the peace pacts in the region.
‘We cannot lose the dialogue. Today we want peace, a “new green war” is long gone, the call is on the government to listen to employers and we want an area of tranquility and peace,” said Agusto Palacios, partner of Pedro Rincon.
The “Green War” broke out in the 1960s, as emerald magnates used paramilitaries to defend their turf from guerrillas and drug traffickers chasing the industry’s big profits and money laundering potential.