Ricardo González also known as Rodrigo Granda is a Colombian Venezuelan, former member of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He serves as international spokesman of the guerrilla organization.
Arrest in Venezuela
His name became well-known because of the events that began on December 13, 2004 when he was captured in Venezuela by Colombian intelligence officials with extra-official support from Venezuelan police, and clandestinely transported to the Colombia-Venezuela border in Cúcuta where Colombian authorities legalized his capture. He had been in Caracas, Venezuela participating in a conference in representation of the FARC guerrilla, organization for which Granda is an international spokesman, for this he was dubbed as "FARC's foreign minister". Due to this unauthorized Colombian operation in Venezuelan territory, his arrest created a temporal severance of bilateral relations between the governments of Hugo Chávez and Álvaro Uribe.
Release and return to the FARC
Granda was later released by the Colombian government after President of France Nicolas Sarkozy persuaded President Uribe to do so, as concession for the "humanitarian exchange" which consists in the exchange of criminals held by the government (included Granda) for hostages held by the FARC. On October 8, 2007 Granda visited FARC campsites in the mountains of Colombia and announced his return to the FARC to participate in the negotiations for a possible humanitarian exchange.
Humanitarian exchange negotiations
In November 2007 Granda traveled to Venezuela along with alias Iván Márquez and other group of guerrillas to meet President Hugo Chávez and Colombian senator Piedad Córdoba in the Palacio de Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas in an attempt to negotiate an exchange of prisoners.
After the failure of the negotiations and the diplomatic tensions generated from this between the governments of Álvaro Uribe and Hugo Chávez, it was reported that Granda was among those registered to vote in Venezuela for the Venezuelan constitutional referendum, 2007. CNE member Vicente Díaz told reporters that Granda can't be removed from the electoral registry at this time, but that he is not allowed to vote due to an administrative objection from 2005. In 2014 the latest negotiations Rodrigo Granda tells that the FARC was not finance its operation with drugs, ironically there are many probes that the Colombian Guerrillas and mostly the FARC manage a Drug dealing business.
- "Noticias, Deportes y Análisis de Colombia - Caracol Radio". Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- "LOS RASTROS QUE DEJÓ LA CAPTURA DE RODRIGO GRANDA EN VENEZUELA". eltiempo.com. Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- "BBC NEWS - Americas - Probe into Colombia rebel arrest". Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- (in Spanish) Terra.com.co: Rodrigo Granda retomará tareas en torno al canje humanitario Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine.
- (in Spanish) Globovision: El guerrillero Rodrigo Granda podría votar este domingo en el referéndum Archived 2012-02-18 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Noticias de Cali, Valle y Colombia". Retrieved 17 December 2014.[permanent dead link]
- http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/paz/no-somos-narcotraficantes-ni-secuestradores-rodrigo-gra-articulo-373973 (in Spanish) No somos narcotraficantes ni secuestradores