A man who appeared in a FARC training video was not former Colombian politician Sigifredo Lopez, according to a demobilized guerrilla who viewed the footage.
Lopez was accused of helping the FARC arrange his own kidnapping in 2002, along with that of 11 other deputies from the western department of Valle del Cauca who were all killed five years later.
The primary piece of evidence against Lopez was a videotape released to the media Tuesday that allegedly showed the politician instructing a group of guerrillas on how to abduct his colleagues. The footage was found on the computer of FARC leader Guillermo Leon Saenz Vargas, alias “Alfonso Cano” after he was killed by the Colombian military in November 2011.
A former FARC member known by his alias, “Santiago,” watched the video from a prison cell in Boyaca, and was convinced that the person in the clip was not Lopez, but Milton Sierra Gomez, alias “J.J,” who served as the commander of the FARC’s Manuel Cepeda column until his death in 2007.
Santiago also claimed that a person giving kidnapping instructions in other videos was another member of the guerrilla group and not the former politician.
Colombian magazine Semana showed the video to Julio Cesar Londoño, an author who spent hours interviewing Lopez for his biography in 2009.
“No judge can tell the world, supported only by those images, that it’s Sigifredo and still sleep peacefully,” Londoño said.
Lopez was released from the hospital Thursday after suffering “symptoms of cardiovascular disease,” according to a medical report.