Colombia’s Prosecutor General Eduardo Montealegre said Monday his office is waiting for the government’s official request to suspend the arrest warrants of FARC guerrillas participating in peace dialogues.
Representatives of the FARC that were announced to participate in upcoming peace negotiations with Colombia’s government still have warrants for their capture that would need to be retracted for their attendance.
“When we receive the official communication we will proceed to suspend the arrest warrants or ask the judges for enforcement of the respective sentences,” he said.
“This decision is clearly the president’s and not the Ministry of Justice, he will decide according to the evolution of the dialogues and the feeling of confidence in the process, he will be the one to make the decision in due course of suspending the arrest warrants,” said Minister of Justice Ruth Stella Correa.
During his discourse, the investigative leader Montealegre also urged the FARC to tell the truth about their participation in kidnapping and drug trafficking, after the guerrillas claimed during the announcement of their representatives that they currently held no hostages.
“The FARC can’t deceive Colombia, if they have hostages then say it, if they have been involved in drug trafficking then say they have because part of the reconciliation of this country is going to depend on the will of the FARC, not just the laying down of arms but a historical reconstruction of the truth,” said Montealegre.
The prosecutor added that the rebels should arrive to said dialogues with a full provision of reparations to the victims of the armed conflict that Colombia has suffered for decades.
“If there is not a collaboration in the reparation then there will not be legal possibilities of a process of peace,” he said.
Montealegre also announced that the government could recognize FARC guerrilla Ricardo Palmera, alias “Simon Trinidad,” as one of the voices at the tables of negotiation but that it would “not be possible to suspend arrest warrants for him.”
In that case, Palmera could “virtually or by means of modern publication or communication mechanisms be a part of the table of dialogues from his place of detention in the United States.”
Emissaries of the guerrilla group FARC, which formed in 1964, will begin peace talks with the government in the Norwegian capital of Oslo on October 8 and continue later in Cuba’s capital Havana in attempts to end the armed conflict that has devastated Colombia for the past 48 years. These are the first major peace talks between the two groups since negotiations last failed in 2002.