In a bizarre twist of fate, FARC Senator Julian Gallo used first responder skills gained as a guerrilla to aid Senator Jose Obdulio Gaviria, a fierce opponent of Colombia’s peace process.
The former guerrilla commander sprang from his seat and performed CPR, a skill he had learned while fighting the state.
I was sitting in my seat when I saw that [Gaviria] entered the room. He was a little pale and was trying to get to his seat, but suddenly collapsed. Without thinking, I ran to help him. I told Senator Santiago Valencia to leave him on the floor and I gave him CPR. I managed to do two sets and he regained consciousness.
FARC Senator Julian Gallo
Senator Roy Barreras (U Party), a professional doctor and the chairman of the Peace Commission, took over and comforted Gaviria as he regained consciousness.
Liberal Party Senator Luis Fernando Velasco called in the Congress’ medical team, who took Gaviria to a hospital where the senator arrived in stable condition.
It was later reported that he had suffered a fainting spell due to low blood pressure that was likely a complication of recent open heart surgery.
Barreras stressed on Twitter how it was Gallo who came to the rescue of one of the people considered a top guerrilla target when the FARC was still in arms.
“The fact that Senator Julian Gallo of the FARC immediately came to the rescue of Senator Jose Obdulio Gaviria, his great detractor, is an example of humanity and possible peace that deserves to be highlighted. In every case, LIFE FIRST.”
Que el senador Julian Gallo del partido @FARC_EPaz haya acudido inmediatamente a auxiliar al Senador @JOSEOBDULIO su gran contradictor es una muestra de humanidad y de paz posible que merece resaltarse. En todos los casos PRIMERO LA VIDA.
— Roy Barreras U1 (@RoyBarreras) May 21, 2019
CD Senator Santiago Valencia, who accompanied Gaviria to the hospital, tweeted that Gaviria had recovered his health and was with his family.
The far-right senator later expressed his gratitude to his “colleagues at the commission” without explicitly mentioning the FARC senator.