Congressman Cepeda accepts govt apology for father’s murder

Congressman Ivan Cepeda accepted the Colombian government’s apology Tuesday for their part in the 1994 murder of his father, Union Patriotica Senator Manuel Cepeda.

Several media reported that the Colombian State, represented by Interior Minister German Vargas Lleras, apologized to the family members of the murdered senator and asked for a pardon. Lleras admitted that the state did not provide good enough protection to Senator Cepeda, a mistake that led to the his assassination.

The interior minister also expressed solidarity with the victims of the violence in that era and explained that the state cannot repeat those vicious acts.

Congressman Cepeda said he forgave the government’s formal apology as an act of hope that Colombians can build peace based on democracy and justice.

“I accept this solemn request for forgiveness as an act that symbolizes the belief that to eliminate sections of the opposition you cause irreparable harm to the Colombian society, and that the government says that it is a situation that can not and must not be repeated.”

Senator Cepeda was a member of the Union Patriotica Party founded by the leftist guerrilla group FARC. Cepeda, along with an estimated 2,000-3,000 other members of his party, was murdered in the FARC’s attempt to become politically legitimate in the 1990s.

Congressman Cepeda noted that while he accepts the government’s apology, he hopes that it can work to not commit crimes again for which it must later apologize and ask for the victims’ forgiveness.

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