Colombia’s FARC party on Wednesday expelled former leaders who in August abandoned the ongoing peace process to take up arms again.
The party said in a statement that there is “no room for armed expression” in its organization as it faces local and regional elections for the first time as a legitimate political movement.
FARC claims that the action of the deserters, which includes former leaders Ivan Marquez and Jesus Santrich is a violation of “the statute and code of ethics in every way, which has allowed for small, large and very large failings.”
“The re-armament announcement disregards our national leadership” and “all political guidelines and disciplinary principles,” it added.
Duque vows to continue Colombia’s peace process, but FARC dissidents ‘will suffer the full weight of the law’
The FARC party slammed the breakaway group who last month announced that they would form a “continental movement” as they continue the struggle against the “capitalist disorder.”
For those now representing the FARC in parliamentary politics, this is a betrayal of the efforts put into more than half a century of armed conflict.
Using our historical name of FARC – EP to break the agreement is an affront to our prestige, built over many years of bitter struggle, with great sacrifices and blood offered for the peace of our people.
Despite a lot of skepticism in recent months in many quarters about the peace process, the FARC moved to reassure that the majority of its members are fully committed to building a future by diplomatic means.
Greater than 95% of the former FARC – EP guerrillas continue to embrace the Peace Process in compliance with what was agreed. This act of commitment was endorsed in the Colon Theater between the officially recognized leadership of the FARC-EP and the National Government.
The FARC party has been unequivocal in its condemnation of the dissident faction since its announcement of a breakaway in August stating that they “publicly broke with our party,” had excluded themselves from the peace process by taking up arms “and have assumed the consequences of their actions.”
Colombia’s government, who was strongly criticized for its apparent failure to implement the peace accords too slated the dissident movement that threatens the future of the process.
According to President Ivan Duque, these deserters will have to face the consequences of their decision and will “suffer the full weight of the law.”
The president offered an $860,000 (COP3,000 million) reward for every dissident guerrilla that appeared in the video announcement with Marquez, a number of whom disappeared a year ago.
In addition, Colombia’s war crimes tribunal last month removed the dissidents from the transitional justice process that would have seen them gain judicial leniency for compliance with the court.
The expelled former guerrilla leaders are “Jesus Santrich” and “El Paisa,” who lost all judicial benefits that came with the peace process and will now have to respond to the ordinary justice system for their alleged war crimes.
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) stressed that its decision implies that the rearmed guerrilla leaders can be extradited to the United States without any interference from the war crimes tribunal.