Ex-guerrilla Olivo Saldaña denies accusations that he collaborated with government officials in an allegedly faked demobilization of a FARC front in 2006.
W Radio reported Thursday that the former FARC guerrilla said that the entire procedure to demobilize 66 members of the FARC’s Cacica Gaitana Front was carried out lawfully by the military.
“My companions decided to not continue with the FARC, some operated in logistics and politics in Tolima. My colleagues are being prosecuted for motives and crimes in the war with the FARC, to negate the existence of the front [Cacica Gaitana] is to negate that there are victims,” said Olivo.
The guerrilla said that the Cacica Gaitana Front was a branch of the Compañia Cafetera and according to him, did exist.
Olivo Saldaña and then-peace commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo along with now-retired commander of the army’s 6th Brigade, General Lelio Suarez Tocarruncho, and extradited drug trafficker, Hugo Alberto Rojas Yepez, are among the accused of the alleged false demobilization of 66 FARC members in 2006.
Two former guerrillas testified that the accused recruited homeless and unemployed people from the Tolima department and trained and armed them, only to have them surrender to security forces.
March 7, 2006, 66 supposed FARC guerrillas surrendered to the authorities. The former FARC member who organized the demobilization, Olivo Saldaña, was named by then-President Alvaro Uribe as the “Manager of Peace.”
Earlier Thursday former peace comissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo, told Caracol Radio, “I didn’t prepare anything with him [Olivo Saldaña] before the demobilization,”