The Colombian Army reported this Monday the body of the second lieutenant was found Cristian Sebastián Calderón Jiménez, kidnapped last Saturday by a dissidence from the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
“Information was received about the presence of a lifeless body in the San Antonio sector [en Sevilla, departamento de Valle del Cauca], and according to the report issued by Legal Medicine in the last hours, the body found corresponds to our officer“, says the Army in a statement.
We vehemently reject the assassination of our second lieutenant Cristian Sebastián Calderón Jiménez. We will also denounce this clear violation of IHL and Human Rights. Solidarity with your family and friends. Announcement >> https://t.co/948VgJR4wl#HeroForAlwayspic.twitter.com/DCbTrMGXCR
– National Army of Colombia (@COL_EJERCITO) September 6, 2021
According to a release previous, issued by the Army on Sunday, Calderón was detained last Saturday afternoon, September 4 by the armed group “Compañía Adán Izquierdo”, dissident of the FARC in Valle del Cauca.
The event occurred when Calderón was traveling in a vehicle, together with an infrastructure commission of the Mayor’s Office of Seville, in Valle del Cauca, where two municipal officials and two leaders of the region were also going.
“Upon their return, after completing the technical and road infrastructure studies for the construction of roads, in the San Antonio sector they were detained by those who would be members of the residual organized armed group company Adán Izquierdo. These subjects asked them for identification documents and the cell phones in order to check them, and it is at this moment that our military is kidnapped. They let the officials of the mayor’s office and leaders of the region go, “says the Army text.
“The criminals of this cowardly deed will be hunted down and brought to justice. All my solidarity with his family, “wrote the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, on his Twitter account.
The officer was kidnapped at a time when he was carrying out technical studies for the construction of tertiary roads in the rural area of Seville, Valle del Cauca, for the benefit of the communities. We denounce that his crime is a clear violation of human rights and IHL. 2/2
– Iván Duque 🇨🇴 (@IvanDuque) September 6, 2021
Meanwhile, the Army reported that it will report to national and international human rights defenders “this clear and categorical violation of international humanitarian law.”
Another murder in Norte de Santander
On Sunday, the institution reported on the murder of another soldier, the professional soldier Jhon Jairo Cuéllar Llanos, allegedly at the hands of members of the National Liberation Army (ELN).
Our professional soldier Jhon Jairo Cuéllar, was assassinated in a cowardly way by the Eln while carrying out military operations to protect the community in the #Catatumbo. We reject this terrorist action that violates IHL. Strengthen your family!#HeroForAlwayspic.twitter.com/58g1m9nJ3m
– National Army of Colombia (@COL_EJERCITO) September 5, 2021
According to his statement, Cuéllar and another uniformed man were injured by a “sniper” when they carried out territorial control operations, in the San José village of the Teorama municipality, in the department of Norte de Santander, last Saturday.
“Immediately after the events occurred, the combat nurses gave first aid to our military,” says the military institution; however, Cuéllar died at the scene.
Dissidents deny another murder
On the other hand, another FARC dissidence, identified as the 28 José María Córdoba Front, denied the information provided by the Army on the murder of Colombian Army Lieutenant Colonel Pedro Enrique Pérez, kidnapped since last April 28 in the department of Arauca , with the broadcast of a video as proof of the military’s survival.
The video was filtered by the residual group of the FARC and published by the news outlet Saravena, from Arauca. In the audiovisual, a guerrilla identified as Antonio Medina speaks, who is next to Lieutenant Colonel Pérez, who is standing in front of the camera, dressed in his military uniform and rubber boots.
“We strongly deny the false positive media what the General Command of the National Army did […] where it is irresponsibly affirmed and lying to the country and to the family, that Lieutenant Colonel Pedro Enrique Pérez Arciniegas was assassinated, “says Medina.
The guerrilla says that “it is true that a mercenary commando entered to try to rescue him,” but was unsuccessful. It also indicates that “those who managed to leave, came out with false information.”
“We know that It would be a great victory for the National Army if we were to assassinate the colonel Pérez, because arrogance, arrogance, pride do not allow them to admit that one of their men is a prisoner of war, “added Medina.
After his intervention, Pérez spoke, who began by greeting his relatives: “A special greeting to my father; we have to face things, it is what he always taught me. To my mother who I love her, I love her and miss her a lot; I love my wife Milena, I love her Mimi; I love César, my melon heart, I miss him a lot “.
“You have to face things and while I am here breathing, we are alive, we are alive. Sometimes things are not as they seem, I wish a negotiation could be reached“, he emphasized.
Medina pointed out that in these more than 100 days of kidnapping, “the national government has made no effort to reach an end in dialogue so that the high official returns to his family nucleus, thus showing the habit of forgetting his own military.”
In this way, the FARC dissidence responds to a release of the Army, issued last Friday, in which they reported that Pérez had been assassinated.
“The Army Command with deep regret and sadness allows itself to communicate that, in accordance with information from highly credible sources, criminals of the residual organized armed group that kept our officer, Lieutenant Colonel Pedro Enrique Pérez, kidnapped in Venezuelan territory, would have assassinated him, “says the text, which is still on their website and on their social networks.