Colombia’s foreign minister refers to ‘Jesús Santrich’ as “trapped and murdered guerrilla”.

Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva has referred to Seuxis Pausias Hernandez, alias ‘Jesus Santrich’, as a “trapped and murdered guerrilla”, in line with the conclusions of the Truth Commission that the former leader of the now disbanded FARC was “induced” by the United States and the previous Colombian government to leave the peace accords.

Leyva made these statements during the delivery of the Truth Commission’s report to the Spanish government delegation headed by the president, Pedro Sánchez, referring to the time he spent with ‘Jesús Santrich’ during the creation of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), reports RCN radio station.

“In matters of truth, some principles were drafted about the truth commission and I did not do it alone, I was accompanied by a guerrilla trapped and murdered, ‘Jesús Santrich’,” Leyva said, recalling that his participation in the peace process was in an independent capacity as he did not represent either the government at the time or the now defunct FARC guerrillas.

In one of the chapters of the report entitled ‘Obstacles to the continuity of the peace processes in Colombia’, this commission argues that ‘Jesús Santrich’ was “induced” by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office to commit crimes and thus leave the peace agreements, as he did in 2019 along with other guerrillas to form the ‘Segunda Marquetalia’ dissidence.

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The objective was to exploit the differences that at the time maintained the now secretary general of Comunes, Rodrigo Londoño, alias ‘Timochenko’, and Luciano Marín Arango, alias ‘Iván Márquez’, on how the peace agreements reached with the government of Juan Manuel Santos in Havana were being implemented.

While serving as a deputy in the House of Representatives, ‘Jesús Santrich’ was arrested in April 2018 for drug trafficking offenses, although he was released a month later. However, in August he announced along with other guerrilla leaders that he was returning to the path of arms.

That arrest “unleashed a new cycle of violence and put at risk the implementation of the peace agreement. At the same time, it pushed hundreds of ex-guerrillas to return to arms and sent a message to the public that the peace agreement had failed”.

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The Commission explains the legal repercussions that the arrest of ‘Jesús Santrich’ had for the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), the tribunal that emerged from the agreements to investigate those who participated in the conflict, while showing transcripts of telephone calls from the then attorney general, Néstor Humberto Martínez, authorizing the use of cocaine to carry out a set-up that led to the arrest of the ex-guerrilla fighter.

On this subject, Martinez sent a letter to the president of this commission, Father Francisco De Roux, asking for a clarification on this report, as well as the possibility of establishing a “court of honor” to clarify the facts.

Martinez explains in that letter that Colombia has the right to know “once and for all, who is right and whether or not the cocaine negotiated, which gave rise to the extradition request of ‘Santrich’, came from the Prosecutor’s Office.”

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