A politician and attorney who spent six years as a hostage of FARC guerrillas has convinced a court to prohibit the marketing in Colombia of “Operacion E” (Operation E), a film inspired by the story of a peasant who cared for a son she bore in captivity.
The film, directed by Michel Courtois and starring Spanish actor Luis Tosar, premiered in Spain on Dec. 5 and was scheduled to hit theaters in Colombia in March.
But the film’s producers - Tormenta Films, ZircoZine and AJOZ - said in a statement Friday that Clara Rojas secured a court injunction prohibiting the film from being screened, distributed or marketed in Colombia.
That ruling was issued without the judge having even seen the movie, does not take into account the filmmakers’ point of view and is based solely on the allegations of the one-time vice presidential candidate, the statement said.
The producers say the film is not centered on Rojas and that, though it includes some events pertaining to her son, Emmanuel, the focus is on other characters.
The film’s legal adviser, Marisa Castelo, said the producers sought out legal opinions on the film and that those documents found no harm done to the rights of children, adding that Rojas opted for a “more aggressive” legal avenue, presenting a writ for the protection of minors.
Jose Crisanto Gomez, who cared for Emmanuel while Rojas was in captivity, has said in promotional events for the film in Spain that he has had no contact with either of them since her release.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group entrusted Crisanto with the care of Emmanuel, whom Rojas - kidnapped in February 2002 along with Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt - bore in the jungle in 2004 to a rebel father.
The peasant and his family took the seriously ill boy in 2005 to a hospital, where the government - unaware of the child’s true identity - took custody of him.
Crisanto, subsequently harassed by FARC rebels who wanted to recover the boy and use him as a bargaining chip and by Colombian authorities who accused him of kidnapping, ended up spending four years in prison before he was eventually released without charges.
Rojas was freed by the rebels in January 2008, while Betancourt was among a group of 15 captives rescued by Colombian security forces in July of that year.