Some 1,100 British academics sent an open letter to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to demand the immediate release of Miguel Angel Beltran, a Colombian academic who was arrested in Mexico and jailed in Colombia in May 2009.
Colombian authorities say that Beltran had the guerrilla alias of “Jaime Cienfuegos,” was in charge of infiltrating Central America’s academic circles to defend FARC interests while working for Mexico City’s Autonomous University, and was a close ally of slain FARC commander “Raul Reyes.” His arrest was hailed as “a heavy blow for the FARC’s international structure and influence in Latin America.”
The academics go on to accuse the Colombian regime of violating academic freedom and freedom of expression and say that “the large number of political prisoners in Colombia’s jails … belies claims that human rights are being respected by the Colombian State.”
Beltran was arrested by Mexican authorities in May 2009 and immediately extradited to his home country. In September of that year, judicial authorities announced Beltran’s trial would begin the month after, but there have been no reports of his trial since.