Alan Jara, former governor of the Meta department, is seeking more than $4 million (COP 8 billion) compensation from the state for the time he spent as a FARC hostage between 2001 and 2009, newspaper El Espectador reported Monday.
At the time of his capture Jara was working as part of a U.N. delegation. Jura believes that a lack of government foresight and significant flaws in the workings of the armed forces were responsible for his capture, and as a result he is now seeking compensation from the government for the psychological damage caused by his time as a hostage.
Jara was the governor of Meta from 1998-2000, in which time he tried to encourage peace talks between leftist guerrilla groups and right-wing paramilitaries. When he was captured in the municipality of Lejanias in the Meta department, the FARC suspected him of having close a relationship with the paramilitaries as well as being indirectly responsible for the deaths of a number of the rebels’ local leadership.
According to weekly Semana, these allegations were absurd and Jara was closer to the left than to the right in Colombia’s internal conflict. It was later suggested that his capture was the result of his refusal to award certain contracts to the FARC during his time as governor.
In response to Jara’s claim, the prosecutor general has encouraged the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defense, intelligence agency DAS, the police and armed forces to try to come to an agreement to settle the claim rather than risking a lawsuit.