Communiques of the Peace Delegation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP)

13 Feb

Extermination of Political Activists Denounced

– January 22, 2014 –

On January 20, at a press conference, former Senator Piedad Córdoba denounced to the world the murder of 29 political activists of the political and social movement Marcha Patriótica, during the two years of its existence.

At the same event, one of the 256 jailed activists, Francisco Tolosa, in charge of the international relations of the organization, without ever having carried a weapon, said by telephone from prison, that “we are in jail because of doing politics without weapons” and added “that there is no real democracy in Colombia without Marcha Patriótica.”

We are feeling a little frustrated here in Havana, where we signed a partial agreement with the government of Juan Manuel Santos, to expand democracy and political participation in Colombia, because the facts alleged by the leader of Marcha are in contradiction with what we agreed. It’s a lack of awareness of the State’s duties, and a bad signal that continues to undermine our trust in the government’s word.

What Piedad Córdoba denounces, reaffirms that under President Santos the right to political choice is not being respected. The extermination of political activists and social and popular organizations continues.

In order for this peace process not to end in a farce or a comedy, in empty words about expansion of democracy, it is urgent that the government stop the ordeal of Marcha Patriótica.

All Colombians, who have always dreamed of a political solution to the longest conflict in the hemisphere, in order to achieve national reconciliation, must defend the peace process and demand real political and security guarantees for the social and political movements of the country.

Mass action called by Marcha Patriótica, December 13, 2013, in Bolivar Square in Bogota, Colombia.

We cannot tolerate that in the midst of a peace process, Marcha Patriótica is annihilated systematically, day by day, as happened with the [political party] Union Patriótica (UP). The government wasn’t only watching it; they were even covertly involved in it, keeping silence about the killings, plotting the legal persecution of leaders to place them behind bars, because they “represent dangerous ideas,” as one of the prosecutors says. The murders of social and popular leaders in Colombia always started with the so-called prosecution, but afterwards they ended up dead.

We are permanently encouraged by the government to change bullets for votes, but farmers, claiming justice, are murdered and mutilated when they protest on the roads against state policies that only serve the interests of transnationals and condemn the majority to live as outcasts with the flags of sovereignty tumbled to the ground.

The justifications made by some state officials to explain the terrible genocide of the UP deeply hurt us. We will never accept the brutal and uncivilized explanation that those deaths occurred because the combination of the methods of struggle could not go unpunished. But we affirm that neither Jaime Pardo, nor Bernardo Jaramillo, nor Leonardo Posada nor José Antequera, nor Manuel Cépeda, nor the congressmen; none of the thousands of martyrs of the UP were carrying rifles before or at the moment they were killed.

The Attorney General of the Republic, Dr. Eduardo Montealegre, is right when he states that “the great challenge of post-conflict will be the dirty war.”

In Colombia there is a vital need to disassemble the National Security Doctrine, the concept of the internal enemy and paramilitarism, as factors that have spurred state terrorism. The government should not only swear “never again” but also deploy compelling action to curb murderous operations like the infamous “Red Ball” (“Baile Rojo”) that exterminated a movement and now intends to apply it to Marcha Patriótica.

Where is the much-vaunted tolerance we talk about in the partial agreement for Political Participation? We must put aside the sweet and honeyed words on democracy, when the outbreak of bullets against opponents of the regime is tolerated, to destroy, in a calculated way, any attempt to build a political alternative. We have to start the implementation of the agreements right now, so that the process won’t be just a vacuous verbiage. It is a State’s duty to protect the lives of citizens and guarantee the right to political choice in Colombia.

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One Response to “Communiques of the Peace Delegation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP)”

  1. seachranaidhe1 February 13, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    Reblogged this on seachranaidhe1.

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