Colombian security forces said Sunday they have arrested at least 22 alleged guerrillas in a town in the north of Colombia. The mayor of the town where the arrests took place claimed the majority of suspects are law-abiding citizens.
“The people were retained thanks to capture orders emitted for crimes of conspiracy, rebellion, terrorism, trafficking, fabrication or possession of drugs, trafficking or possession of firearms for private use of armed forces and trafficking of substances for the processing of narcotics,” said a statement from the police.
However, on Monday the mayor of Ituango expressed concernced about the massive capture. The town leader told RCN Radio that the majority of the alleged guerrillas were actually good people who didn’t have ties to illegal groups.
The mayor announced a march in protest of the arrests, which will be the 5th that has taken place in the municipality. In the past four cases authorities have ended up freeing the detained people for lack of evidence, the mayor said.
The Ituango municipality has been the scene of unrest over the building of a hydroelectric dam in the Magdalena river. last week, hundreds of locals protested the mega project while simultaneously, the FARC carried out attacks against machinery used to build the dam. Police accused the guerrillas of having incited the protests, something the locals denied.