Former M-19 guerrilla and unsuccessful Polo Democratico presidential candidate Gustavo Petro Tweeted that ex-members of the demobilized rebel organization should increase their security measures, following the conviction of retired Colombia army Colonel Alfonso Plazas Vega.
Petro’s message, which was posted on his Twitter account one day after Plaza Vega’s sentence, said, “We are under the pressure of the generals of the dirty war, I advise all former militants of the M19 to increase their security measures.”
While Petro was a member of the M-19 guerilla group at the time of the seige, he did not take part in the 1985 storming of Colombia’s Palace of Justice in Bogota, viewed as one of the bloodiest events in Colombian history.
Plazas Vega, who at the time was an army colonel commanding the unit that retook control of the Palace of Justice, was charged on Wednesday to thirty years in prison for his role in the forced disappearance of eleven civilians following the siege.
President Alvaro Uribe convened an emergency meeting on Thursday with Colombia’s high military command to discuss the fallout of the sentence handed down to Plazas Vega.