Former Governor of Arauca Ricardo Alvarado is captured

Ricardo Alvarado, governor of Arauca between 2016 and 2020, was captured in Bogotá on October 21. He became the second president of that department to be captured in less than 24 hours, after the current governor, Facundo Castillo, was apprehended at dawn this Thursday. The latter was charged with the crimes of being investigated for the crimes of conspiracy to commit a crime, embezzlement, contract without compliance with legal requirements and financing of terrorism. Apparently, Alvarado was captured for the same events.

(In context: José Facundo Castillo, governor of Arauca is captured)

The first information shows that Alvarado was captured at his home in Bogotá, however, he would have health problems which did not allow him to be processed this afternoon in the company of the current Governor Castillo, whose capture was legalized on October 21. Apparently, both arrests are due to the same line of investigation, related to the alleged relationship of the former governors with the Eln in the region.

According to the prosecutor 8 delegated to the Supreme Court, who will have an impeachment hearing tomorrow in the Castillo Cisneros case, the Arauca government would have been at the service of the ELN for the last decade. Castillo Cisneros took possession of the department in January 2012, to later be replaced by the recently captured Facundo Castillo (2016-2020). At the beginning of the year, Castillo Cisneros returned to the governorship again.

(You may be interested: Farc dissidence frees Francisco Alvarado, brother of the former governor of Arauca)

The Prosecutor’s Office considers that the alleged relations of both politicians with the ELN are not “isolated and independent events.” The investigating body would even have to prove that both defendants contracted with a person known as the Fat giovanny, from the front Domingo Laín Sáenz del Eln. Against ex-governor Ricardo Alvarado there would be more than 50 criminal reports in the Prosecutor’s Office and, for its part, the institution would send more than 60 news items against the current president Castillo Cisneros.

The hypothesis of the Prosecutor’s Office is that the government of Arauca allowed financial agreements with the operational front of the Eln in the region, with the aim of obtaining logistics and protection during displacements. In return, the guerrillas would act freely. Among the clues provided by the investigating body is that the current governor, Castillo Cisneros, would have received financial support to be elected as such. He would have awarded eight contracts to a member of the guerrilla to carry out studies and designs of roads, public space projects and educational infrastructure.

Ricardo Alvarado, on the other hand, had conflicts with the FARC dissidents in Arauca. On February 10, Francisco Alvarado, brother of the former governor, was released after spending seven months in captivity in the municipality of La Victoria, in Venezuela. In an interview with El Espectador, in September 2019, when he was leading the department, he assured that to fight the Eln and the FARC dissidents “the best way is dialogue.”

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