[News] Colombia - Minority Faction of FARC Leadership Take Up Arms

Anti-Imperialist News 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 
been missing 
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 
<https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/One-Sector-Blocks-Peace-in-Colombia-Ex-FARC-Guerrilla-Leader-20190730-0022.html> that 
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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