René Nariño freed as part of Colombia’s accord with the FARC
After 6 years of being imprisoned, captured prisoner and terrorist René Nariño was freed by Colombian authorities on May 11, 2017. He is one of the 600 guerrilla supporters freed in accordance with Colombia’s historic accord with the FARC terrorist group. Over the next several weeks, another 2,400 prisoners will be released from prison as part of this agreement.
Nariño was arrested on May 3rd, 2011 outside the Superior School of Public Administration. He was convicted of aggregated rebellion and criminal conspiracy and sentenced to 13 years in prison.
The young student, who was studying Political Science and Public Administration at the time of his arrest, joined the terrorist organization in June 2007 and, according to the police, infiltrated educational centers and tried to radicalize other students toward anti-government terrorist activities.
During his time in prison, Nariño participated in a hunger strike to protest the alleged mistreatment of prisoners within the notorious Cómbita prison, including alleged programmed food shortages and beatings of prisoners.
The release of so many former FARC terrorists into the general public in accordance with the country’s agreement with the terrorist group is unprecedented, and the consequences of the action are still unknown. Though the accord has provisions for retraining and integration of former terrorists, many doubt the government’s ability to abide by the restrictive terms of the agreement.
Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, has taken to calling the accord with the FARC “La Paz”, or “Peace”, but the agreement is only between the Colombian government and the FARC. It does not address other ongoing terrorist activities by groups such as the ELN, Los Urabeños and others.
The peace accord was rejected in a nationwide referendum on October 2, 2016, however Santos reneged on his promise to stand by the referendum and implemented the treaty without the public’s approval.