[News] Colombia - Minority Faction of FARC Leadership Take Up Arms
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 29 11:27:21 EDT 2019
Minority Faction of FARC Leadership Take Up Arms
August 29, 2019
In a blow to Colombia’s peace process, a minority of senior leaders of
the FARC have announced that they are splitting from the main
organization and will be taking up arms again. The FARC have officially
condemned the split, defending the principles of the 2016 peace agreements.
Among those taking up arms is Jesus Santrich, a key FARC leader who has
since the end of June. He appeared publicly for the first time
alongside Ivan Marquez, another former senior FARC leader, in a video
posted to YouTube on Thursday morning, announcing a “new stage of armed
"Betrayal, perfidy, judicial persecution, political insecurity, the
murder of social leaders and ex-combatants, has forced us to take up
arms...We announce to the world that the second Marquetalia has begun
under the protection of international law that assists all the peoples
of the world to rise up in arms against oppression" the dissident group
said in the video.
The FARC have officially condemned the move, along with all those who
support peace. In a pinned tweet on their official account, they say
unequivocally “More than 90% of former guerrillas remain committed to
the peace process”.
FARC lawmaker, Carlos Lozada, who is also a member of the country’s
peace commission, also condemned the dissident split, saying “A complete
and definitive peace is the aspiration of the Colombian people, despite
the difficulties, we will not faint along that path. Those who oppose
the Agreement are wrong; as well as those who despair and return to arms."
Another lawmaker, Iván Cepeda Castro, reacted saying "The announcement
that a group of members of the FARC has takes up arms does not mean the
failure of the process or the annulment of its historical achievements.
On the contrary, this new situation calls us to persevere with
greater resolve in the construction of total and definitive peace."
Former President Juan Manuel Santos, who negotiated the peace accords,
appealed for them to be upheld in relation to the FARC, but that
dissidents should be challenged, saying “90% of the FARC is still part
of the peace process. We must continue to comply. The defectors must be
repressed with all forcefulness. The battle for peace does not stop!
The 2016 agreement has come under strain as the state and far-right
paramilitaries have not complied with their end of the accords. Over
160 FARC members and at least 627 social activists have been killed in
that time, whereas the FARC has fully complied with requirements to lay
down arms. FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño said
it is the state which is blocking the realisation of true peace.
Londoño, along with the majority of the FARC, however, remain committed
to peace, and condemn violations of the 2016 agreement on all sides.
President Ivan Duque has so far not commented.
Colombians defending peace have taken to social media with the
hastags #NoALaGuerra #SeguimosPorLaPaz #ColombiaQuierePaz
"La traición,la perfidia,los montajes judiciales,la inseguridad
política,el asesinato de líderes sociales y excombatientes nos
obligaron a tomar las armas" , aseguró @IvanMarquezFARC
Defensores de la Paz aseguran que ahora más que nunca se necesita la
implementación del Acuerdo. pic.twitter.com/ptzF4r4ug6
— Paola Fernandez (@Paola_teleSUR) August 29, 2019
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