Rebel Involved in Murder of Former President Gaviria’s Sister is Sentenced
By Dialogo January 20, 2009Judicial sources reported today that a judge from the Colombian city of Armenia sentenced a FARC guerrilla to fifty years in prison for his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Liliana Gaviria, sister of former President César Gaviria. The Bogotàn prosecution stated that Edgar Antonio Cañas, the accused rebel, was found guilty of aggravated extortive kidnapping, aggravated homicide, and rebellion. Cañas, also known as “Tito,” was part of the guerrilla command of the Mobile Column “Teófilo Forero,” one of the higher FARC divisions that, on April 27, 2006, kidnapped the sister of the former Colombian President (1990-1994) and former OEA Secretary General (1994-2004) in the city of Pereira. The businesswoman was on a vehicle driven by her bodyguard, agent José Fernando Rengifo, when she was intercepted in the city’s outskirts. Guerrillas opened fire against the bodyguard, who died immediately. Liliana Gaviria was also severely injured. The woman died when the kidnappers escaped with her and left her in a rural area of the same city. The Prosecution pointed out that “Tito” carried out intelligence tasks previous to the kidnapping, and drove the car that transported her. In an oral trial held last October, the guerrilla accepted the charges, which were brought by a prosecutor belonging to the National Unit of Rights and International Humanitarian Law organizations.