Acquitted 'FARC ambassador' to resume teaching

Colombia News - Miguel Angel Beltran

The Colombian professor who was arrested in Mexico in 2009 and acquitted on Friday of accusations of being a member of the FARC, announced Wednesday he will resume teaching.

Upon leaving Bogota's La Picota prison, Miguel Angel Beltran announced that he planned to reclaim his position as a sociology professor at the capital's National University. The professor was absolved of charges on Friday, based on a ruling that the evidence used against him was inadmissable.

Beltran expressed joy over his release, saying that his innocence had finally been recognized after two long years, and that the investigation was the "result of a judicial farce and motivated by the false democratic security politics of Uribe." He said that he has not yet decided whether or not he will file claims against the state.

"I feel at peace, because all of my life I have dedicated to research and teaching," added Beltran, reported La FM Radio.

A communique from the Human Sciences department at the university celebrated the professor's freedom, stating: "This council welcomes with goodwill the decisions taken by the justice system and hopes that the Professor Beltran Villegas (...) will be able to resume his work of teaching and investigation in our Alma Mater," reported newspaper El Espectador.

A city judge decided Friday that Beltran would be allowed to go free, "given the inconsistencies (of the evidence)," referring to an earlier ruling that the "Raul Reyes" files were inadmissable as evidence and that it could not be proved without doubt that Beltran was the alias "Jaime Cienfuegos" mentioned in the FARC files.

The professor was arrested in May 2009 in Mexico and subsequently extradited to Colombia, where he was accused by the administration of former President Alvaro Uribe of being part of the FARC's International Committee and a close ally of the slain FARC commander "Raul Reyes," before being held for two years without trial or conviction.

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