The countdown began for Facundo Molares Schoenfeld, the Argentine militant who traveled half the continent with his flag, and whom Colombia claims for having joined the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC). Imprisoned in the Ezeiza prison, after having been detained in Bolivia during the government of Jeanine Añez, on April 20 he will be the protagonist of the extradition hearing, a measure to which a large group of organizations that make up the National Board of Human Rights are opposed, and that day they call a press conference in front of the prison. “Extraditing Facundo Molares to Colombia is a hidden death penalty,” is one of the slogans they spread. In addition, they demand that he be released for humanitarian reasons, due to his delicate state of health.
Molares Schoenfeld’s defense rejects the claim of the Colombian prosecutor’s office because it maintains that his case is included in the Peace Agreements. From that country they affirm that he does not appear in the records of the ex-combatants who signed the peace. His lawyer, Gustavo Franquet, maintains that Facundo did join the pact, although due to a document problem it does not appear in the official records. This would be a problem because only those who have already affixed their signature can obtain amnesty for acts committed during the clashes, according to prosecutors.
Molares Schoenfeld was born 46 years ago in San Miguel, province of Buenos Aires, and soon after he said that he wanted to be like Ernesto That Guevara. He began to be a soldier in the Communist Youth and his activity led him to tour Ecuador, Cuba, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Bolivia until he reached Colombia. There he joined the ranks of the Farc. In 2020 he arrived in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, to work as a photojournalist and to support Evo Morales, according to his father, Hugo Molares, Justice of the Peace of Trevelín, Chubut. “He lives without material worries, always worried about others”, he defines it. For his partner since he was 14, Mónica Glomba, “he was always characterized by being very vehement and clear with his ideas.” Although he was already a militant, he was a student when the social outbreak and rebellion of December 2001 occurred, and those days marked him out to become an insurgent. Under the alias of “El Argentino” or “Camilo” he was one of the few foreigners who stood out in the Colombian guerrilla group.
He never took good care of his health, despite suffering from diabetes and liver and heart problems. He was injured at the end of October 2019, in the Bolivian town of Montero, where two people linked to the so-called ‘civicos’, of the extreme right, also died. It was in the midst of the clashes and protests following the elections. On November 11 he was detained at the Japanese Hospital of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, where he had been transferred in a coma induced by severe kidney failure from a first aid room in Montero. He was accused of alleged homicide, criminal association and public instigation to commit a crime during the conflicts that broke out after the general elections. “It is evident that he did not come from Colombia to walk,” Añez had said. In December 2020, he was granted extradition for return to Argentina, at the request of human rights organizations and the Foreign Ministry, and returned. By then he had already changed the uniform and the weapon for the camera, “he still wanted to change the world but from popular communication”, according to his family.
Word of Facundo
“The FARC was a revolutionary dream to which many militants of the 90s aspired, it was the most booming experience. We, on the contrary, came from a resistance to the Menem government. We could say that it was a generation of great resistance. A generation that was forged from defeat to defeat but from resistance to resistance. In 2001, in two or three days, the accumulation of resistance of that entire decade was expressed and it exploded.” This is how Facundo Molares expressed himself as soon as he set foot on Argentine soil. “But after December 2001 it changed, or at least it changed in me. I thought, for there to be another rebellion like that and to be exploited in revolutionary terms, another 50 years would have to pass. And so I decided to follow the path of the jungle, of the revolution and to think if I was capable of being able to comply, ”he explained.
Thus, last year, this former guerrilla lived in his father’s house, in Chubut, while he was recovering from the physical consequences of the clashes and confinement. On Sunday, November 7, when Facundo and Hugo were returning from lunch, they were surprised by a Federal Police operation, which arrested the militant for an extradition request issued by the Colombian Justice. The red circular of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) that weighs on Molares corresponds to the old case of the kidnapping of councilor Armando Acuña. Paradoxically, Molares had been in charge of Acuña’s release. The same government that had negotiated his release in Bolivia publicly announced his arrest: “He was wanted worldwide,” said the Minister of Security, Aníbal Fernández, and Molares was imprisoned in the Rawson prison until his transfer. to Ezeiza.
“It is impossible to deny the political content of the crimes that Facundo is accused of. Argentine law and extradition agreements say that in those cases the person cannot be extradited. That is what we will say before the judge when the time comes” , anticipates the lawyer Franquet. Meanwhile, his health continues to deteriorate. At the Posadas hospital, he was diagnosed with severe constrictive pericarditis, in addition to the almost total loss of his right eye.
“On April 20, the trial begins against the Argentine internationalist and leader of the Popular Rebellion Facundo Molares, we want to express with all the movements that face the adjustment of the Fernández government and the IMF, as was done in previous days, our demand for the freedom and non-extradition of our comrade, for the freedom of all prisoners for fighting and for the end of political persecution”, expressed the Molares Non-Extradition Table. Regardless of what happens in the judicial process, the decision to send him to Colombia ultimately belongs to the Executive Power.