The countdown has begun for Facundo Molares Schoenfeld, the Argentinian activist who traveled half the continent with his flag, and whom Colombia claims to have joined the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC). Imprisoned in Ezeiza prison, after being detained in Bolivia under 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 Council national human rights are opposed, and that day they call a press conference in front of the prison. “The extradition of Facundo Molares to Colombia is a hidden death sentence”, is one of the slogans they broadcast. In addition, they demand that he be released on humanitarian grounds, due to his delicate state of health.
The defense of Molares Schoenfeld rejects the request of the Colombian prosecutor’s office because he maintains that his case is included in the peace agreements. Of this country, they affirm that it does not appear in the registers of the ex-combatants who signed the peace. His lawyer, Gustavo Franquet, maintains that Facundo adhered to the pact, although due to a document problem, it does not appear in the official minutes. This would be problematic because only those who have already signed 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 said he wanted to be like Ernesto Che Guevara. He began to be a soldier in the Communist youth and his activity took him to travel through Ecuador, Cuba, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Bolivia until he reached Colombia. He joined the ranks of the Farc there. In 2020, he arrived in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, to work as a photojournalist and support Evo Morales, according to his father Hugo Molares, Justice of the Peace of Trevelín, Chubut. “Living without material worries, always caring about others”, he defines it. For his companion since the age of 14, Mónica Glomba, “he has always been characterized by being very vehement and clear in his ideas”. Although he was already an activist, he was a student during the social upheaval and rebellion of December 2001, and these days marked him to become an insurgent. Under the pseudonym of “El Argentino” or “Camilo”, he was one of the few foreigners to stand out in the Colombian guerrillas.
He never took care of his health, despite having diabetes and liver and heart problems. He was injured at the end of October 2019, in the Bolivian city of Montero, where two people linked to the so-called ‘civicos’, of the far right, also died. This was amid clashes and protests following the election. On November 11, he was detained at the Japanese hospital in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, where he had been transferred in a coma brought on by severe kidney failure from a first aid ward in Montero. He was charged with alleged homicide, criminal association and public incitement to commit a crime during the disputes that erupted after the general elections. “Obviously he didn’t come from Colombia to walk,” Añez said. In December 2020, he obtained his extradition for back to argentina, at the request of human rights organizations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and dismissed. By then he had changed his uniform and his weapon for a 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 brilliant experience. We, on the contrary, came from a resistance to the Menem government. You could say 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 resistance buildup of the entire decade was expressed and exploded. This is how Facundo Molares expressed himself as soon as he set foot on Argentinian soil. “But after December 2001, it changed, or at least it changed in me. I thought that for there to be another rebellion like that and for it to be exploited in revolutionary terms, it would take another 50 years. And so I decided to follow the path of the jungle, of the revolution and ask myself if I was able to be able to conform,” he explained.
Thus, last year, this former guerrilla lived in his father’s house, in Chubut, while recovering from the physical consequences of the clashes and the confinement. On Sunday, November 7, when Facundo and Hugo were returning from lunch, they were surprised by an operation by the federal police, who arrested the activist 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 charged with the release of Acuña. The same government that negotiated his release in Bolivia publicly announced his arrest: “He was wanted all over the world,” said Security Minister Aníbal Fernández, and Molares was incarcerated in Rawson prison until his transfer to Ezeiza.
“It is impossible to deny the political content of the crimes Facundo is accused of. Argentinian law and extradition agreements say that in these cases the person cannot be extradited. This is what we will say before the judge on 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 opens 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 has been done the previous days, our demand for the freedom and non-extradition of our comrade, for the freedom of all prisoners for combat and for an end to political persecution”, expressed the Molares Non-Extradition Table. what happens in the judicial process, the decision to send him to Colombia ultimately rests with the executive branch.