A retired Colombian Army sargeant and former FARC hostage announced on Thursday plans to sue the state for $7 million for its alleged failure to fully compensate him post rescue, according to Colombian media sources.
Arbey Delgado, through his lawyer Nelson Ricardo Esteban, has announced his decision to sue the Colombian Nation, the Ministry of Defence, the Armed Forces and the Army, for their alleged failure to acknowledge the damage he suffered during his time in captivity.
Delgado, aged 43, was kidnapped by the FARC in 1998, from an army base in the southern department of Guaviare where he was stationed as a soldier, and held hostage for 12 years before being rescued by the armed forces in June 2010.
According to Esteban, “tThe aim is a recognition and compensation for the moral damages caused during the abduction to both my client and his families. That is what it seeks to reconcile.”
Father of three Delgado claims that he has been mistreated by the army since his rescue almost two years ago, and that he has not received the same level of compensation as two other hostages who were rescued at the same time.
Delgado asserts that he was not allowed to take the holiday he had been days away from taking when he was kidnapped, has been offered less security than the other former detainees, and has had his requests to be moved abroad ignored, though the other two former hostages were relocated to Spain and Chile.
Esteban announced that the lawsuit will be officially filed on January 17. If it goes ahead, it will be the first lawsuit against the state by a member of the Colombian Armed Forces held captive by the FARC.
In 2010, former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt — rescued by the army in 2008 after being held by the FARC for six years — attempted to sue the Colombian State for damages, but withdrew the application days later after a public outcry.