The Special Justice for Peace (JEP) of Colombia on Tuesday authorized two leaders of the former FARC guerrillas to travel to Venezuela to attend a meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum in Caracas, while denied l to the country’s departure to five other ex-combatants.
The court noted in a ruling that accepted the exit requests filed by Rodrigo Granda Escobar and Julián Gallo Cubillos, known in his guerrilla times as «Carlos Antonio Lozada».
The JEP considered that both Granda and Gallo met the requirements for authorisation, such as providing a justification for the trip, detailing the place of destination and time of stay, contact telephones and copying the ticket reservation, among others.
In the documents presented by the former guerrillas, they point out that they were invited to the meeting by the vice-president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, and the vice president of International Affairs of that bench, Adam Chávez Frías.
Upon his return, Granda, who was part of the FARC team in peace negotiations with the Colombian government, and Galló must report to the Amnesty Chamber Judicial Secretariat or High Court Pardon.
Special Justice for Peace is the backbone of the peace agreement signed on 24 November 2016 between the FARC government and guerrillas, now converted into a political party, after more than four years of negotiation in Havana.
The XXV edition of the Sao Paulo Forum will be held between this Thursday and next Sunday in the Venezuelan capital with the presence of more than 800 international guests.
The Sao Paulo Forum is a mechanism for concluding left-wing and progressive parties and social movements in Latin America and the Caribbean, which emerged in 1990 under the auspices of Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT).
On October 19, the JEP authorized Rodrigo Granda to travel to Venezuela to attend a panel at the National Experimental University of the Rómulo Gallegos Central Plains, located in the city of San Juan de los Morros, capital of the state of Guárico.
Unlike Granda and Gallo, the court denied the departure from the country of Omar Alberto Navarro, Israel Alberto Zuñiga, Benedicto de Jesús González and Luis Alberto Albán, known in his time as a combatant as «Marcos Calarcá».
The decision was based on the fact that «the Chamber finds that they did not comply with the formal requirements, even though by decision (…) were given the opportunity to expand information.»
Similarly, the JEP decided to «refrain from ruling» on Francy María Orrego’s request, as it considered that although its name was among the delegates by the FARC party to attend the forum, «does not support a request to leave the country made in a way personal.»