Colombia’s former Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo blamed army intelligence Thursday for the false demobilization of the FARC’s Cacica Gaitana Front in 2006.
Restrepo defended himself against allegations of irregularities in the false demobilization of 66 so-called guerrillas of the FARC, and said that the Ministry of Defense was withholding information.
“I do believe that there was a hoax. It’s important to tell the country what happened, why the army was fooled, where was the error. Army intelligence acted independently and was at the demobilization site and even conducted interviews. And now nothing is appearing; everything has disappeared,” said the commissioner.
In his defense Restrepo said, “President Santos has swung on this matter and tried to blame me. He says that the army had nothing to do [with it] and he even proposed dates on which General Montoya was only three days in charge when that is false. He was there more than 15 days.”
The Prosecutor General’s Office had deemed that the Cacica Gaitana Front “never existed,” although the government’s alleged involvement was still unclear.
According to drug trafficker Hugo Alberto Rojas Yepez, the Colombian government plotted with the FARC, and organizers were paid slightly over a million dollars to recruit homeless and unemployed people from the department of Tolima and train them to live and act like FARC guerrillas. They would then surrender to security forces, which made the government look good, and the rebels could receive benefits from the Justice and Peace Law such as financial aid and reduced jail sentences.