Mauricio Gómez is convinced that his father was not killed by the Farc – JEP Colombia – Justice

(In context: Mauricio Gómez, journalist and son of Álvaro Gómez Hurtado, dies)

In April 2021, as a result of the controversy with the JEP over the investigation of the assassination of Álvaro Gómez Hurtado, his father, Gómez spoke with María Isabel Rueda. This was the interview originally published on April 12, 2021.

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This week the demobilized Farc senator met face to face in the JEP Julian Gallo and the son of the slain conservative leader Álvaro Gómez, Mauricio. Why did he come out convinced that his father was not killed by the FARC?

My family is not against the peace process or against the JEP, I want to make that very clear. But we must accept that in Colombia the fundamental problem, as my father said, is the lack of justice. And the legitimacy of the JEP, as a body of justice that is also at the very heart of the peace process and, therefore, is the basis of its future, depends only on the truth prevailing in it, not lies or the falsehoods. A true, proven, irrefutable and certain truth. Its legitimacy, which is so fragile, depends on that being possible.

None. Look: the burden of proof, in this case, is all in the hands of the FARC. They are the ones who have to demonstrate and document, in a categorical way, what they affirm. But that is not, as it has been until now, with vagueness and ghosts and hearsay. No. For the country to believe them, they have to show certain facts and reliable evidence. Especially when it comes to an assassination in which the FARC’s hypothesis was never plausible or plausible, quite the contrary. One supposes that if they had really killed Álvaro Gómez, that would have been a well-documented operation or at least a well-planned one in the criminal structure of that guerrilla.

Until now, the FARC witnesses have not given a single proof of who killed Álvaro Gómez, not a single one. Everything has been incongruous, almost laughable. They have not given a single name of the murderers, when they promised they would do it at the end of October 2020, and more than 6 months have passed and nothing. Gallo speaks not of assassins, but of “very good people.” But he has not given names or surnames. In the murder of a man who was a presidential candidate three times, a journalist, a political leader! If it had really been the FARC, is it not to be expected that among its historical members there would be a very clear knowledge of such a fact? The FARC allegedly killed a historical enemy and they don’t say anything to anyone! And now they know nothing: they do not have even a superficial knowledge of the fact.

What specific data have you talked about?

The first thing I asked Gallo was who is the person from the Farc who knows the most about the murder of Álvaro Gómez. He replied that it is him. But when I asked him very easy things that anyone can find on the internet, such as how many people were in the vehicle when Álvaro Gómez was murdered, he replied that he did not know. I also asked him who had been killed next to my father in that vehicle, he replied that he did not know. But, surprisingly, he added that the driver had been killed, when he was the only one who was saved and that he was able to take my dying father to the clinic. The one they did kill, and Mr. Gallo still ignores it, was my father’s assistant, José del Cristo Huertas, who recorded his classes at Sergio Arboleda University.

At the hearing before the JEP, on April 6, Gómez (right) confronted arguments with Julián Gallo.

There I lose myself. Why would the FARC be claiming responsibility for an assassination committed by others? And if the FARC were not the assassins of Álvaro Gómez, who were they?

First I want to say something fundamental: my family is not obsessed with satisfying and validating only their hypothesis. No. My family has spent almost 30 years seeking justice and searching for the truth. The true truth and a transparent process. What happens is that my family’s hypothesis has everything that the FARC doesn’t have, that is, evidence, testimonies, clues, names. That is what we want to investigate, and that reaches the name of Ernesto Samper. That is the reason why now, almost 30 years later and when no one ever believed it was them, the FARC come out to take responsibility for this crime they did not commit.

But paying Samper a favor? Why?

Samper and his entourage live very uncomfortable with the issue of Álvaro Gómez’s murder. That is a shadow that, whatever they do, will haunt them forever. And perhaps they found in the false confession of the FARC before the JEP the possibility of turning that into something judged and burying it definitively.

To begin with, the FARC know that nothing is going to happen to them. What’s more: faced with a credibility problem as big as the one they’ve had since the beginning of the peace process, claiming responsibility for this crime gave them the possibility of even making it seem as if they were telling a great truth. And it is the opposite. I insist: this is not a whim of my family or an obsession, as some believe and say. We have some evidence and we ask for a transparent trial, which there has never been.

And what are the indications that you insist on having about the authorship of Samper and his entourage?

You have to see the political context to understand why the FARC are doing Samper a favor. First, he is intimate with Maduro, the great protector of the Farc. But we must also not forget the decisive influence that Samper’s great friends and allies, such as Mr. Juan Fernando Cristo, Mr. Yesid Reyes, Mrs. María Ángela Holguín, had in negotiating the issue of justice in Havana. That is not to mention the intimate friendship that Samper and Timochenko have today (there are videos), with ‘Santrich’ and many more people from the FARC and their entourage.

But it will happen to the FARC. Because if they tell lies, the benefits of peace run out…

It’s true. If they don’t prove the truth, but seriously, they are dishonoring and betraying what they signed at the Colón theater.

And he returns and asks the question: if it wasn’t the FARC, who killed Álvaro Gómez?

That is the little problem that the FARC has with the JEP. What the evidence says that there is, and there is a lot, despite the diversions and attempts by so many actors, including state actors, to hinder the investigation, is that they were members of the Norte del Valle cartel led, among others, by ‘Nacho’ Londoño, (RIP) the close friend of Samper and Serpa (RIP). He was a conspiracy of drug traffickers and state agents, including a member of the Police, Danilo González. But it is that those were the political and criminal associates of Samper and his government; The Rodriguez thing was just the tip of the iceberg. And that is what we want to investigate: the role of the DAS, for example, the link between ‘Nacho’ Londoño and Samper and my father’s crime. What Fernando Botero said, all of this must be investigated in a transparent manner.

Life of Alvaro Gomez

But they say that he was a historical enemy. A member of that establishment they were fighting…

Political adversaries they were. But imagine: that the FARC supposedly kill a historical enemy that in its mythology has everything to do with its foundation… And they don’t say anything to anyone! The fact is not claimed by a revolutionary group! Among other things, my father spoke of the ‘independent republics’ in 1961 and the Marquetalia thing was in 1964. They remain silent for 30 years and then come out to say without proof, without evidence, without anything, that it was them.

Is it credible that the FARC had waited all that time to collect that debt from his father?

No. If they wanted to, they could have done it much sooner. Because furthermore, later there was between them, between Álvaro Gómez and the FARC, a series of meetings and dialogues that make impossible the hypothesis that they were his murderers in 1995. For example: in 1985, the entire secretariat wrote a letter to my father, a letter that I read before the JEP, (see facsimile on this page) telling him that he was invited to Casa Verde to talk about the national situation. Later, in 1988, when the M-19 kidnapped him, ‘Manuel Marulanda’ told my sister over the phone that the FARC did not have him and that they would never harm someone they respected as their adversary, interlocutor and opponent. But best of all: in 1995, Álvaro Gómez was the only national leader who was supporting the possibility of a peace dialogue with the FARC. He even said that you had to sit down with them at the Hotel Tequendama to see what they were asking for, and negotiate it, in exchange for them laying down their arms. Is that why they killed him?

Letter sent by the FARC

This letter was sent on April 5, 1995

Now the Prosecutor’s Office has announced that it will call Ernesto Samper for questioning. Like what things do you think they will ask you?

Samper must testify about the DAS intelligence reports on Álvaro Gómez Hurtado, about 8,000 other homicides in the process, about the absence of evidence of a coup d’état and about his commitments to the ‘Man in Overalls’, Orlando Henao (RIP).

MARIA ISABEL RUEDA
Special for WEATHER

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