Colombia’s Inspector General has slammed President Juan Manuel Santos for “protecting a terrorist” over a decision to allow FARC rebel leader “Timochenko” to visit ongoing peace talks with his group in Cuba, local media reported Friday.
At a Conservative Party conference on the island of San Andres, Colombia’s top investigative official Alejandro Ordoñez suggested that the president didn’t comply with the law by failing to lift the capture order for Rodrigo Londoño, alias “Timochenko,” according to Caracol Radio.
“We public officials cannot simply do what we feel like. We must follow the law, and on this subject the authorization [to travel] for a member of a subversive group must go through the necessary procedures. This did not happen,” Ordoñez claimed.
The Inspector General’s comments come a week after controversy arose after it was reported that Timochenko had secretly visited the peace talks between the government and the country’s largest guerrilla insurgency, the FARC, in Havana.
Responding to the tension that has surfaced between President Santos and Ordoñez over the visit, the Minister of the Presidency, Nestor Humberto Martinez, claimed that the authorization was perfectly legal, according to El Espectador.
“Here there can be no doubt about the legality of what is happening in the peace process… it is being executed in strict compliance with the Constitution and the law,” Martinez said.
The Interior Minister announced last week that Timochenko traveled to Cuba on two occasions. The trips had been requested by the government and were coordinated by the governments of Norway, Chile, Venezuela and Cuba who are guarantors and sponsors of the talks.
The trips were to allow the FARC chief to meet with his fellow-rebels, not to personally take part in the peace talks.
According to the government, Timochenko did not meet with government delegation members.
The minister’s announcement came after Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon told press earlier on Thursday morning that “military intelligence” had found out that that the FARC chief had traveled to Cuba “on several occasions,” indicating that the Defense Minister and the military were kept in the dark about the trip.
Peace talks with the FARC have been ongoing since 2012 while talks with ELN are pending.
The government and the FARC are currently on break from discussing the reparation of victims. A new round will begin on October 20.
- Santos le brindó protección a un terrorista: procurador (Caracol Radio)
- Visita de ‘Timochenko’ a Cuba fue legal: Ministro de la Presidencia (El Espectador)
- La Cumbre De Las FARC Y El ELN En La Habana Con Timochenko Y Gabino (Los 2 Orillas)