“Of course I’m afraid,” journalist Vanessa Vallejo, editor-in-chief of the Pan-American Post, told the Spanish radio broadcast Es la Mañana de Federico on Tuesday, describing how the Colombian court system ordered her to “correct” an accurate report identifying a FARC senator as a child rapist.
Vallejo, now settled in the United States, wrote an article in August, citing the testimony of victims of the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), accusing Senator Carlos Lozada of raping boys and girls while he served as a senior member of the communist terrorist organization. Lozada became a senator as part of the “peace deal” brokered by the Cuban communist regime between the FARC and President Juan Manuel Santos in 2016, which gifted the terrorist group five seats in the Colombian Senate and five in the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, uncontested. FARC terrorists could also compete for any other open seat.
The Colombian people voted against the deal in a national referendum, but Santos overrode the vote by pushing the deal through the legislature, despite the fact that passing the deal without democratic approval was unconstitutional. The deal also created a parallel justice system that allows the government to absolve any FARC terrorist found guilty of “political crimes,” a term that remains unclearly defined, and reintegrate them into society without punishment. The “transitional justice” system – named so because it aspires to transition terrorists into law-abiding society – largely ignores the many sexual crimes attributed to the FARC.
Santos won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. The intermediary in this deal, the communist Castro regime, won having its name removed from the U.S. State Department list of State Sponsors of Terrorism that year by President Barack Obama, even though Havana was openly harboring and advocating for the FARC, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Vallejo’s offending article, titled, “The Rapists Who Are ‘Honorable’ Congressmen in Colombia,” described how children abducted into the FARC and raised to become terrorists feared Lozada as a particularly violent rapist:
The FARC criminals are free, and several are now making the laws of our country. One of them is “honorable” senator Carlos Antonio Lozada. Lorena Murcia, whom FARC recruited when she was a child and is now an activist with the Rosa Blanca Corporation, recalls that Lozada was known as “tornillo” (screw) or screw because he raped the children who arrived at the camp. “Whenever he arrived in the ranks, the boys said that screw has arrived,” says the brave Lorena.
Lozada’s case is absurd and completely irrational; it only happens in Colombia. There is no decent country where someone like “screw” is a member of Congress instead of being in jail.
“Narco-traffickers, rapists, and pedophiles roam around the Colombian Congress as if nothing had happened,” Vallejo lamented, noting that the exemptions for child rape that FARC lawmakers are now attempting to push through Congress would not only help them evade justice, but protect future rapists and pedophiles potentially unaffiliated to the Marxist group.
Lozada, she also noted, was one of several FARC lawmakers that escaped victims have identified as child rapists. She makes the case that Santos’ legal policy protects for sexual crimes against children, in addition to those for war crimes, suggest “raping children is something necessary to establish socialism, and that is why the transitional justice system judges the crime as a political one.”
The NGO Human Rights Watch documented over 200 modern cases of child rape confirmed by members of the FARC, though the true number, given the decades in which the group has been active, is likely much higher.
In response to the article, Lozada filed a motion in the Colombian court system to censure Vallejo’s reporting, which the court accepted almost immediately, branding the article “mistaken and subjective” without providing evidence. The court ordered Vallejo to “rectify” the article.
“They did not allow me to offer my version or defend myself,” Vallejo said on the Spanish news broadcast Tuesday. “In fact, I found out that I had a legal process against me after the judge had issued his ruling. They didn’t even formally notify me.”
Vallejo described the full ruling against her as reading “like a communist pamphlet in which they practically forbade me from giving my opinion on fundamental issues in my country.”
The journalist added that “of course” she fears for her safety and that of her family, which continues to reside in the nation’s capital, Bogotá. “This man managed all the urban guerrilla groups of the FARC in Bogotá … if something happens to my family, nothing will happen to him,” she lamented.
Joining Vallejo on the Spanish broadcast was the woman she cited in her article as a witness to Lozada’s crimes, Lorena Murcia, who currently runs an organization aiding victims of FARC crimes called the White Rose Corporation. Murcia shared her harrowing story after being abducted and forced into terrorism at age ten.
Murcia said that she was abducted with four brothers, one of whom is dead and the others’ whereabouts unknown. She stated that she was sexually abused and forced to have an abortion.
“In the FARC a lot of torture happened because the women got pregnant. They discovered that a partner of mine was pregnant a little before she gave birth. She was tortured, they cut her womb open, they took out her son and let them both die,” she said.
The Colombian government believes that forced abortions of minors in the FARC, which has existed for over half a century, are common. In 2015, Colombia petitioned Interpol for a Red Notice for one of the most prolific child killers among their ranks: Héctor Albeidis Arboleda Buitrago, a terrorist known as “the nurse” for having performed 500 forced abortions.
“What is happening now is a mockery of the victims,” Lozada told the program.
The U.S. State Department is offering $2.5 million for information leading to the capture of Lozada, a known narcotics trafficker and terrorist in addition to the accusations of child rape. In Colombia, he is a protected member of the upper chamber of Congress.