The leaders of the last secretariat of the extinct guerrilla of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) recognized this Thursday (01) to the Special Justice for Peace (JEP) and relatives of the kidnapped crimes committed during the captivity, such as rape, forced labor and even murder.
“I recognize that, although it was not a policy and practice directed by the secretariat, there were acts of violence sexual abuse in kidnappings carried out as part of territory control exercises,” said the last FARC commander, Rodrigo Londoño, known as Timochenko, in a statement read during the third day of the JEP reconnaissance hearings.
Prior to this recognition before the body created by the peace agreement of 2016 to judge crimes against humanity committed during the Colombian conflict, the former guerrillas heard an anonymous testimony from one of the victims who were raped while kidnapped.
“Even if I feel this fear because I always remember this rape. There were three men who had sex with me, while my feet and hands were tied with a padlock”, the woman reported.
“We came to recognize that this policy, in addition to having taken away people’s freedom, was accompanied by mistreatment and degrading actions during the captivity process and is part of a very serious and reprehensible conduct, which is classified as war crimes and crimes against humanity”, commented Pastor Alape, another of the former FARC commanders. .
This acknowledgment takes place in the context of the case 01, “hostage taking, severe deprivation of liberty and other simultaneous crimes committed by the FARC-EP ”, which is being investigated by JEP and in which thousands of Colombians, including civilians, police and military, were victims, for political and economic reasons.
In one of the hearings that JEP held before the prosecution, another hostage, Alexander García, said he had been subjected to forced labor.
He was kidnapped in the department of Vichada, on the border with Venezuela, and subjected to “punishment work”, such as clearing pastures, sowing grass or harvesting corn, and when he was released, after finding that he was not part of any paramilitary organization, he was punished .
“I was told that I had a fine for one year, that I could not leave Vichada”, said López, who emphasized that the fine was, as he was told, “for the food given during the time as a hostage and for the medicines given while sick”.
“My presence here has only one purpose: to seal this mourning”, declared Vladimiro Bayona, an elderly man whose son was kidnapped in 2000, in Palmira, in the Valle del Cauca (southwest), along with a fellow student, and never returned.
“I don’t want to hear about the moments before this vile murder, but what I need is for you to help us find (the body)”, he told the former guerrillas.
I will forgive, dear Pablo Catatumbo, on the day tell me: ‘Vladimiro, we found your son’s remains’”, he added, pointing to one of the former guerrillas.
Vladimiro Bayona highlighted that children should bury their parents, and not the opposite, but despite all the suffering, he asked Colombia to “find this stable and lasting peace in all hearts”.
“Despite all the harm they did to me, I don’t hate them. , but I cannot forgive them until I see my son and know where I can go to pray for him”, said the father.
Like him, other families demanded the truth and to know where the children are. their relatives who were taken captive.
“We know that there are those who returned to their homes in poor health, others with permanent damage and others who even lost their lives and never returned home”, said Timochenko, who added that “it is a tragedy” of which former guerrillas are “deeply ashamed.”
JEP was able to identify 21 .396 victim but of kidnapping by name and identification number in the case studied, in crimes for which he has so far accused the last FARC leadership.
After these hearings, which this Thursday come to an end, the step The following is the JEP indictment and sentence, which, depending on the degree of truth and acceptance of guilt by those involved, may not involve imprisonment and, in any event, will be focused on reparation for the victims.