A south-Colombian court ordered the release of a captured FARC leader, suspected of taking part in kidnappings, murders and massacres by the rebel group, due to contradictory testimony in his case.
A high court in Neiva, in the department of Huila, has ordered the release of Pedro Luis Gonzales, alias “Genaro”, who is the alleged second in command of FARC’s feared Teofila Forero column, along with two other members of the guerrilla faction.
Genero and his companions had been sentenced to 39 years in jail for the massacre of nine councilmen in Rivera, Huila in 2006. The guerrilla leader is also suspected of involvement in the kidnappings of several ex-Congressmen, the storming of the Miraflores building in Neiva in 2001, and the assassination of former governor of Huila Jaime Lozada.
Judges claim that they were left with many doubts, following contradictions in the testimony provided by three guerrillas who served as witnesses in the case against Genaro.
The court concluded that there was not enough hard evidence to keep Genaro in jail.
The evidence gathered during the operation — which includes information on the guerrilla group’s areas of influence and their collaborators, and photographs of their alleged attacks — will now be handed over to the Prosecutor General’s Office and the National Prison and Penitentiary Institute (INPEC), who will determine whether or not to uphold the court order and release Genaro.