A Colombian judge has ordered the release of indigenous leader Feliciano Valencia, who was arrested Saturday for his role in the 2008 capture and whipping of a Colombian soldier on indigenous territory, Caracol Radio reported Monday.
According to Judge Dario Castrillon, Valencia was set free because the punishment he oversaw in 2008 fell within the jurisdiction of indigenous authorities in their autonomous reservation.
Valencia was arrested on Saturday and charged with kidnapping and causing personal injury to Colombian soldier Jairo Danilo Chaparral Santiago.
The soldier was arrested in 2008 by the indigenous government for allegedly infiltrating a public protest to conduct intelligence work on behalf of the Colombian government.
Chaparral reportedly received twenty lashes in public for his crime.
Feliciano Valencia, who is one of the top leaders of the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, and a leader of the “Minga Nacional de Resistencia de los Pueblos Indigenas de La Maria en Piendamo”, was arrested as he was boarding a flight from Cali to Argentina, to attend an international conference of indigenous leaders from across Latin America.
His arrest sparked the condemnation from indigenous communities across Colombia, who demanded his “immediate release.”