President Juan Manuel Santos expressed disapproval at a Colombian judge’s decision to liberate a FARC prisoner despite substantial incriminating evidence, according to a press release on the president’s website.
Santos’ reaction came in response to a Buenaventura judge’s release of one of the four guerrillas captured in an army operation last week in the Choco department, in which 10 other members of the FARC’s 30th Front were killed.
The president said that the prisoners were captured in uniform and with enough other evidence on their persons to make it clear that they were FARC members, and that the decision was thus unwarranted.
“The truth is that this causes a lot of surprise, much dismay, that after such effort — the army was following these people for a long time — that a good judge, in such a clear, evident situation, would use legal subterfuge to liberate one of those guerrillas. To me this does not seem alright,” said Santos.
The president called upon judicial authorities to exercise discretion in the future, saying, “I would like to make a courteous appeal for this type of situation not to repeat itself, because it generates despondency and has very negative consequences in the country.”
He added on Tuesday the Minister of Defense, Rodrigo Rivera, spoke with President of the High Judicial Council Francisco Escobar about the matter, and “received a very positive response.”