FARC-EP Commanders Resume Armed Struggle Against Colombian Government
Colombia – In response to the “betrayal of the “Peace Accords” by the Colombian state signed in Havana in 2016, a group of commanders of the insurgent Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP)announced Thursday the beginning of a new stage of struggle.
Through a communiqué, the leader of the insurgent group, Iván Márquez, invoked the universal right of peoples to rise up in arms against oppression.”Our strategic objective is the peace of Colombia with social justice … that is our flag, the flag of peace,” confirmed Marquez.
Among those who accompanying him are leaders Jesús Santrich and Hernán Darío Velásquez, El Paisa, who are facing open cases before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.
The group denounced the continued assassinations of social leaders and demobilized ex-combatants. This trend is a major problem affecting the South American country and is some of the reasons for the return to armed struggle.
“We are not going to continue killing each other among class brothers so that a shameless oligarchy can continue to manage our destiny and enrich itself more and more, at the cost of public poverty and the dividends of war,” Márquez said.
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) reported that those FARC-EP members who have decided to take up arms will lose the benefits established by the Peace Agreement, signed in Havana in 2016.
The president of the JEP, Patricia Linares indicated, in a press conference, that the news of the rearmament of some ex-combatants of the FARC-EP is a serious development for the peace process in Colombia.
In this sense, the official pointed out that the Reconnaissance Chamber and the Appeals Section of the JEP began the procedure to expel Iván Márquez, Jesús Santrich, El Paisa and other ex-combatants who took back the weapons of the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition.
“We cannot disappoint the trust of the victims, of Colombian society, of the international community and of those who, by joining forces for peace in Colombia, have built a real and viable alternative for our country,” Linares concluded.
The president of the Colombian Revolutionary Alternative Force of the Common (FARC), Rodrigo Londoño (Timochenko), reiterated on Thursday that “the great majority of former combatants remain committed to what was agreed upon even with all the difficulties or dangers that are in sight, we remain with the process. We are convinced that the path to peace is the right one. Something Manuel Marulanda (founder of the FARC-EP) taught us was to keep our word. Our word today is peace and reconciliation,” he said.
More than 90 percent of ex-guerrillas remain committed to the peace process, he said.
Source: Cubadebate, translation, Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau