Felipe Salazar, alias Biofilo, a former FARC guerrilla who acted as the leader of the fictitious Cacica Gaitana Front, has outlined how former Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo acted as emissary for Uribe, in an alleged plot funded by a drug trafficker and designed to lend credibility to the government’s demobilization efforts.
Salazar said, “It was crucial to make this show and present it to the country as a success of the democratic security policy (…) The emissary told us that the president was aware and that he was given authorization to carry out the demobilization.”
The former rebel added, “The greatest fraud was to the international community (…) who dispersed money for the peace process. (…) I refer not only to the Gaitana Front, but to all cases of demobilization, which were fraudulent.”
The revelations come at a time when Uribe has claimed to not know the whereabouts of Restrepo, while defending his decision to flee the country and avoid arrest, citing a lack of guarantee of a fair trial. Uribe also admitted he had provided Restrepo with a letter of recommendation.
The 2006 “false demobilization” allegedly saw Restrepo work with imprisoned FARC guerrilla “Olivo Saldaña” and drug trafficker Hugo Rojas Yepez to organize the demobilization of the fake Cacica Gaitana Front. The three are accused of paying $278 to homeless and unemployed people in the central Tolima department to train, live and act like FARC guerrillas, then surrender to security forces.
Salazar now lives in Colombia under an alias.
Olivo Saldaña, who was apparently the target of an assassination attempt Friday, is currently facing charges of conspiracy, embezzlement by appropriation, fraud, trafficking and possession of weapons, for his part in the plot. Restrepo faces the same charges, as well as one of contempt of court for his disappearance, and will be tried in absentia.