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Former FARC leaders admit sexual abuse of hostages during the conflict

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The leaders of the last secretariat of the extinct FARC guerrilla recognized this Thursday before the Special Justice for Peace (JEP) and relatives of kidnapped crimes committed during the captivity, such as sexual violations, forced labor Or the murder itself.

“I recognize that despite not having been a policy and a practice directed by the secretariat, there were acts of sexual violence in the kidnappings carried out within the territory control exercises,” the last commander of the FARC, Rodrigo, assured in a statement. Londoño, previously known as Timochenko, during the third day of recognition hearings of the JEP.

Before this recognition, the former guerrillas heard an anonymous testimony from one of their victims who was raped when she was kidnapped before this body, created by the peace agreement to judge ad hoc crimes against humanity committed during the Colombian conflict.

“I still feel that fear and that sheath because I always remember that rape. There were three men who had a relationship with me, while the feet and hands were tied with a padlock,” the woman said.


“We come to recognize that this policy, which in addition to having taken away people’s freedom was accompanied by ill-treatment, degrading actions that occurred during the captivity process, is part of very serious, reprehensible behaviors that are classified as war crimes and crimes against humanity,” said Pastor Alape, another former high-ranking FARC commander.

This acknowledgment is made within the framework of case 01, “Taking of hostages, serious deprivation of liberty and other concurrent crimes committed by the FARC-EP”, which is being investigated by the JEP and of which thousands of Colombians were victims, including civilians, police and military, for reasons ranging from political to economic.

In one of the hearings that the JEP held before the accusation, another kidnapped person, Alexander García, confessed that he had been subjected to forced labor.

They kidnapped him in the department of Vichada, on the border with Venezuela, and subjected him to “working with punishments” such as cleaning paddocks, sowing grass or collecting corn, and when he was released, after realizing that he was not part of any paramilitary organization, they punished him

“They tell me that I have a one-year fine, that I cannot move from Vichada,” said López. Said fine was “for the food they gave me during the time they had me kidnapped and the medicine they gave me when I got sick,” López added, according to what they told him.


“My presence here is for a single purpose: to be able to seal that duel,” said Vladimiro Bayona, an elderly man whose son was kidnapped, along with a fellow student, in 2000 in Palmira, in the Valle del Cauca (southwest) and never returned.

“I don’t want to find out about the moments before that vile murder, but what I do need is for you to help us find (the body),” he told the former guerrillas firmly, pointing to one of them: “I I will forgive you only the day, dear Pablo Catatumbo, that you tell me: ‘Vladimiro, we found the remains of your son'”.

Thus, he highlighted a painful truth that it should be the children who bury the parents and not the other way around, but despite all the suffering he asked Colombia “to find in all of our hearts that stable and lasting peace”, which It is possible if the hate is maintained.

“Despite all the damage they did to me, I don’t hate them, but I can’t forgive them until I see my son and know where I can go to pray,” said this father.

Like him, other families demanded the truth and to know where their relatives who were taken captive to impose terror and territorial control are.

“We know that there are those who returned home with ill health, others with permanent damage and others who even lost their lives and never returned home,” Timochenko said, adding that “it is a tragedy that never happened and of which we feel deeply ashamed”.

Menfis Molano, another family member, however, reprimanded them: “They cannot get by, they must and have an obligation to the country and to the entire world to repair the victims because their crimes are no less than those that happened in the holocaust. Nazi”.

The JEP has managed to identify 21,396 kidnapping victims with name and identity card within the case it is studying, in crimes of which it has so far accused the last leadership of the FARC.

After these hearings, which are coming to an end today, the next step is the filing of charges and for the JEP to issue a sentence, which depending on the degree of truth and acceptance of guilt by those involved, may not imply deprivation of liberty. and in any case it will be focused on reparation to the victims.


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