Former Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) leader Rodrigo Granda has been arrested upon landing in Mexico by Interpol.
The former guerrilla combatant and one of the brokers of the peace agreement with then President Juan Manuel Santos had left Colombia no questions asked but when he landed in Mexico he found out a warrant for his arrest was being handled by Interpol.
It is yet unclear which of the multiple cases against him has resulted in his arrest but according to press reports it might all be in connection with an arrest warrant issued 13 years ago by Paraguay for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping (2004) and subsequent murder (2005) of Cecilia Cubas, daughter of former Paraguayan President Raúl Cubas Grau.
Granda, also known as Ricardo Téllez from his fighting days or as “The Chancellor,” went to Mexico at the invitation of the local Labor Party (PT) to attend the international seminar The Parties and a New Society to be held on October 21, 22 and 23 and to which he was going as a representative of the Communes Party of Colombia together with Rodrigo Londoño.
«One of the topics to be discussed in the seminar is the peace process in Colombia, the party appointed a delegation in which I am included and also Granda, we did all the procedures before the JEP -Special Peace Jurisdiction- as appearing parties and we were given the permits,” Londoño said in a video posted from Mexico on his Twitter account.
«Today we arrived in Mexico City at 12 o'clock and this is the time 20:15 hours (01.15 GMT on Wednesday) when Rodrigo Granda has not been able to enter Mexico City, I really don't know what happened, I do not want to presume things, or speculate, he called on the international community to be aware of the security and state of Rodrigo Granda,” added Londoño.
Senator Carlos Antonio Lozada, from the Communes Party, warned this Tuesday through a message on Twitter that Granda, 72, had been detained in Mexico. “Urgently, Rodrigo Granda was detained in Mexico, even though he left the country with the authorization of JEP (Special Jurisdiction for Peace), they inform us that the government of @IvanDuque asked Interpol to activate a red circular while he was flying to Mexico, in clear violation of the Peace Agreement that they want to tear apart, Lozada wrote.
The JEP is a court created to try crimes committed during the war in Colombia and which stems from the historic peace agreement signed in 2016 between the Santos government and the FARC guerrillas.
The party also said on Twitter that they were waiting for a clarification from the government of Iván Duque on why the red circular against Granda was reactivated while he was flying to Mexico, with @JEP_Colombia authorization, to attend an international seminar.”
According to Interpol, a red notice is a request to law enforcement agencies around the world to locate and provisionally detain a person pending extradition, surrender or similar legal action.
The former rebels are answering before the JEP for crimes such as kidnapping and recruitment of minors, without having yet been convicted.
Granda, who in 2005 was arrested in Venezuela in a covert operation and later transferred to Colombia when he was working as an international liaison for the FARC, was one of the negotiators of the peace agreement signed in Havana and for which Santos was awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.
In February 2017, a Colombian court sentenced Granda to 15 years in prison for being the intellectual author of Cecilia Cubas Gusinky's kidnapping in September 2004 in Paraguay.