El último congresista de la Unión Patriótica

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Octavio Sarmiento Bohórquez en el Congreso de la República. Foto archivo VOZ.

En la pasada edición del semanario VOZ, el desarrollo de la nota “Luego de 24 años regresa la Unión Patriótica al Congreso”, está redacción cometió el error de no cumplirle a la historia y memoria de la UP por contener información imprecisa. Esta pequeña nota, más que una rectificación es un homenaje al último congresista de este partido político, también asesinado por las balas del paramilitarismo.

Se trata del araucano Octavio Sarmiento Bohórquez, quien fue representante a la Cámara por Arauca entre 1991-1994 y 1998-2002. De origen colono y liberal, es oriundo del municipio de Tame del cual fue concejal y su primer alcalde por voto popular. Fue fundador del primer centro docente de educación secundaria en Tame y un destacado dirigente de las causas justas de uno de los territorios más olvidados del país.

Hizo parte de la bancada parlamentaria de la UP en 1991 junto con los representantes a la Cámara Manuel Cepeda Vargas, Jairo Bedoya Hoyos y José Ovidio Marulanda Sierra, y el senador Hernán Motta Motta, durante el periodo legislativo de 1991 a 1994. En 1998 se presentó nuevamente a la Cámara de Representantes, está vez por el Partido Liberal como parte de una política de alianzas entre las toldas rojas con la UP en Arauca. Resultó victorioso.

A sus 72 años de edad, fue asesinado el 2 de octubre del 2001 cuando salía de su finca Bellavista en el área rural del municipio de Tame. Sus verdugos fueron los paramilitares de las Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) del “Bloque Vencedores de Arauca” quienes para esa fecha libraban una feroz y violenta ocupación del territorio araucano.

Tal y como lo reseña el libro Unión Patriótica: Imágenes de un sueño, Sarmiento Bohórquez “honró su estirpe llanera, como gran dirigente popular, humilde, valiente, respetuoso y honrado”. Aída Avella, quien para febrero aspiraba al Senado de la República, en su visita a Arauca lo describió como la “reserva moral” del departamento y “un mártir por la paz con justicia social”.

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