Colombia’s inspector general files disciplinary charges against a university professor who was held in prison for two years without trial or conviction for allegedly collaborating with the leftist guerrilla group FARC, Colombian media reported.
Miguel Beltran was arrested in Mexico in May 2009 and extradited to Colombia, where he awaited trial based on evidence from the computer files of FARC leader “Raul Reyes,” which the Supreme Court ruled inadmissible as evidence.
Beltran was accused of being alias “Jaime Cienfuegos,” an academic who had allegedly infiltrated Central American educational institutions to support the FARC by defending their interests, recruiting students, and seeking funds to finance terrorist activities. Beltran was acquitted and the court ordered his release on June 3.
Contrary to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Ordoñez believes the files found on Raul Reyes’ computer are sufficient evidence to file new charges against the professor. Ordoñez will seek disciplinary action against Beltran, which could potentially prohibit him from teaching at a public institution or holding public office.
The inspector general alleged that Beltran “wrote official documents” for the FARC and invited students to “join the ranks of the FARC, seeking also to create a research center of this illegal armed group.”
The scholar claimed innocence after being charged with crimes of rebellion and seeking funds to finance terrorist activities, saying the government was trying to “criminalize the academic work.”
“I am studying the political and armed conflict in Colombia; I have written in national and international journals and have received criticism from government politicians,” he argued in 2009.
Beltran has 10 days to refute the charges and present evidence in his defense.