BOGOTA – At least 522 people kidnapped by the now-disbanded Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas died in captivity, the Colombian Inspector General’s Office reported Monday.
During a Special Peace Court (JEP) hearing at which 11 former FARC guerrilla leaders appeared, Inspector General Fernando Carrillo asked them to provide any and all data they have to clarify what happened to the kidnapped people.
“The true reparation to the victims of more than five decades of war demands that the families know the truth about what occurred regarding that macabre practice of financing (FARC operations) via kidnapping,” Carrillo said.
Therefore, he asked in his statement before the JEP for the former FARC leaders “not to be able to stick to simple accounts of the cases.”
“We’re talking about families who have the right to know and to preserve the memory (of their loves ones). Reparation demands a joint effort to recover their remains,” Carrillo said.
The stance of the Inspector General’s Office is that it is fundamental to get “detailed information” about what occurred to the victims who died in captivity as well as to clarify the motivations that existed and “the circumstances of time, manner and place of kidnapping of these victims and the circumstances of their deaths.”
Given that, Carrillo emphasized the need to “provide the full truth, make amends to the victims and guarantee the non-reoccurrence” of such acts.
“Providing the full truth means recounting, when the information for that is available, in an exhaustive and detailed way the conduct engaged in and the circumstances ... as well as the necessary and sufficient information to assign responsibility, thus guaranteeing the satisfaction of the rights of the victims,” the Inspector General’s Office report said.
In presenting this report, the Public Ministry compared the databases on kidnappings of the police and the army, the Attorney General’s Office, the now-defunct Administrative Security Department (DAS) and organizations such as Pais Libre and Fondo de Libertad.
During the court session, the president of the FARC political party – these initials standing for the Spanish name of the renamed guerrilla organization, the Revolutionary Alternative Force of Colombia – Rodrigo Londoño, known during his time as a combatant as Timochenko, acknowledged the group’s “ethical and political” responsibility for the numerous kidnappings of civilians committed during more than half a century of armed conflict in Colombia.
“We recognize ... and assume on behalf of the men and women who were part of the organization, our collective, ethical and political responsibility for the damage caused to the people and families who were victims of this unfortunate practice,” he said.