By: James Bargent Special to the Star, Published on Mon Feb 16 2015
The Cacica Gaitana Front demobilization in 2006, was a PR coup for Colombian peace commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo, right. But the rebels were later revealed to be fakes.
MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA—In March 2006, 62 fighters from the Cacica Gaitana Front of Colombia’s FARC guerrillas handed in their weapons in the largest rebel demobilization in 50 years of war, and a major publicity coup for the government of then-President Alvaro Uribe. There was just one problem: the Cacica Gaitana Front never existed.
The “demobilization” was initially heralded as proof that the strongman president — who, during his two terms between 2002 and 2010, drove back Colombia’s Marxist insurgencies with a military offensive — could deliver peace as well as war. But what has emerged since is instead a bizarre tale of fake guerrillas, corruption and deceit that has led investigators to the door of Uribe’s high commissioner for peace, Luis Carlos Restrepo.