‘Isaza’, the guerrilla that help former politician Oscar Tulio Lizcano
escape FARC captivity, won’t be allowed to leave Colombia before
Thursday, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said Monday.
Earlier reports said ‘Isaza’ was to board a plane to France this Monday together with Ingrid Betancourt, who’s rounding up her South American tour.
Prosecutor General Mario Iguarán however said the FARC deserter first had to appear before court, because, as a former guerrilla, he was suspected of crimes against humanity and needed to be cleared of any suspicion before leaving the country.
According to commander of the Colombian Armed Forces, Freddy Padilla,
the delay is harming the credibility of the
government’s promise to guerrillas that they’ll be rewarded for their
desertion and the surrender of their hostages.
Juan Manuel Santos then denied there had been a plan to allow the guerrilla to leave the country Monday. “There is the intention that he leaves as soon as possible. There are some judicial procedures to be fulfilled and we are speeding up these procedures. In the best case scenario he will be able to leave this Thursday,” the Minister told Caracol Radio.
If the guerrilla’s departure is delayed to long it could seriously harm the government’s credibility. For months it has been publicly promising guerrillas who leave their ranks and surrender their hostages a financial reward and refuge in France.
‘Isaza’ is the first guerrilla to be able to claim the reward and refuge in Europe.