Colombia’s former peace commissioner who is wanted for allegedly faking a large-scale guerrilla demobilization in 2006, on Thursday denied damning accusations from imprisoned paramilitaries who he claimed are trying to “destroy” him.
A Colombian magazine on Wednesday published statements from three top ex-paramilitary commanders who claimed that Luis Carlos Restrepo, Colombia’s former High Commissioner of Peace, used his office to order the murders of guerrilla and paramilitary leaders who opposed demobilization.
“After having lending my invaluable services to the country, I was abandoned by the State I served, which instead of protecting me launched a persecution against me. The archives…under my responsibility have dozens of times been searched by the judicial authorities…the Prosecutor [General] has not succeded in obtaining a single proof which violates the law [or provides proof that] I acted in an incorrect manner,” wrote Restrepo.
Restrepo also denied that he used tricks to facilitate the paramilitary demobilization process. According to the ex-peace commissioner, he never encouraged the paramilitary blocs to demobilize all at once in a subversive maneuver to overwhelm the Prosecutor General’s Office.
As High Commissioner of Peace, Restrepo was one of the key officials responsibles for implementing the 2003 to 2006 demobilization process of the AUC.
Restrepo gained notoriety after it was discovered that the demobilization of the FARC’s “Cacica Gaitana” Front was marred by irregularities. Supposedly, the FARC Front never even existed and its “members” were mainly homeless people with no previous link to the guerrillas.
The ex-official is believed to be hiding in the United States.