Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos referred to those accusing the government of paying off the FARC in “Operation Jaque” as “useful idiots” for feeding in to the guerrilla organization’s propaganda.
Santos denied that the government paid money to the FARC in exchange for the release of the people rescued in the 2008 army operation, including the infamous Ingrid Betancourt, three American contractors and 11 members of Colombia’s security forces, and stated that it is the guerrilla organization itself that is circulating this story.
“The FARC always are obsessed with taking this humiliation from Operation Jaque off of themselves,” said President Santos, during a security council in Tierralta, Cordoba department, the presidential website reported Tuesday.
“From the start, the FARC have put in circulation all types of versions [of the story] that are very absurd and they are useful idiots – sometimes not such idiots – those who play this game,” said the head of state, adding that Operation Jaque is a military achievement of which Colombians are very proud.
The president was referring to claims made by documentary film maker Gonzalo Guillen, who alleged Monday that the government paid hundreds of millions of dollars for the release of the captives, and that the operation was negotiated with FARC guerrillas “Cesar” and “Gafas,” who were arrested during the operation.
As a result of the claims, Prosecutor General Viviane Morales announced that she will investigate ex-President Alvaro Uribe for the alleged payments, made under his administration, while Uribe angrily denied the charges.