Alvaro Fayad

Alvaro Fayad

Álvaro Fayad Delgado “The Turk” or in Spanish, el Turco, was the cofounding guerrilla and leader of 19th of April movement (M-19).

He was born in Ulloa Valley on the 24th of July, 1946 and grew up in Cartago. He got his baccalaureate from the Seminary of Santa Rosa and entered the National University in 1965 to study psychology. Here, he met and befriended Camilo Torres but they are not equally militant. When his friend left for ELN to become a priest, Fayad entered Communist Youth and met there Jaime Bateman, who changed his life. He and Bateman joined the FARC until the end of 1969, when they entered the National Popular Alliance ANAPO and soon to conform M-19, to root of the discussed electoral defeat of General Rojas Pinilla in 1970. On January 27th, 1974, they stole the sword of Bolivar, arguing that it represented the M-19, symbolizing both nationalism and the Bolivaran Movement. Spectacular actions as this were carried out by the M-19 in later years, but they were not successful overall. Aarms heist in Canton Norte only earned a jail term for the leaders from the M-19, including Fayad. He went to trial with 219 members of the M-19 in a military hearing, and served as his own lawyer; his defense appears in “The Wars of the Peace” by Olga Behar, along with the tortures endured by him and his companions. He was sentenced to 26 years in jail by the Military Court, but he was granted amnesty by the government of Betancur. He met with the chief executive several times to negotiate peace; in October of 1983 in Madrid (Spain), they negotiated an agreement which was signed in Corinto in August of 1984. Fayad played a very important role within its organization and other guerrilla detachments like the EPL.

With the peace about to break down, he and Iván Marino Ospina met with the narcotics trafficker Pablo Escobar to seal a non-aggression pact, as it would give like origin the plan for it takes to the justice palace (palace of justice siege). The plan is carried out the 6 of November of 1985 (months after the death of Ospina), this taking leaves like result the disappearance of the hostages who requested respect to the life and of the guerrillas, all this at hands of the troops.

Fayad was assassinated by the Police in the Quinta Paredes district of Bogota in 1986.

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