Ingrid Betancourt’s jailer named peace facilitator by Petro

Bogotá, Sept. 5 (EFE) – Colombian President Gustavo Petro signed a resolution on Tuesday naming Alexander Farfán, former jailer of presidential candidate Íngrid Betancourt, who was held captive by the FARC for more than six years between 2002 and 2008, as a peace facilitator.

According to the presidential resolution, the goal of the peace facilitator is “to contribute with his knowledge and experience to the structuring of peace processes or strategies for rapprochement with organized illegal armed groups, or to promote humanitarian agreements and actions.”

Farfán, known by the alias “Gafas,” which means eyeglasses, was a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, where he was in charge of prisoners until his arrest in 2008 during Operation Jaque, which freed Betancourt and other prisoners, including three Americans and 11 army soldiers.

He was released in 2017 after the FARC signed a peace deal with the Colombian government in 2016, but was arrested again in December 2022 when he was found in a speedboat with dissidents of the accord that clashed with the armed forces.

As a result, Gafas was expelled from the Transitional Justice Tribunal, which declared him “a manifest deserter from the Peace Accords, given that he is a member of the illegal armed organization that calls itself the Central General Command of the FARC”.

This rebel organization, which repudiated the 2016 peace agreement, is now in renewed talks with Gustavo Petro’s government and has named Farfán as one of its negotiators.

His designation as a peace facilitator will allow Farfán to leave prison once again, but it doesn’t eliminate the legal proceedings against him and sets a series of conditions that he must meet, such as submitting a monthly report and complying with the demands of judges.

This designation comes a few weeks after a similar one was awarded to former right-wing paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso. EFE ocm/ics

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