The former chief peace negotiator for Colombia’s government on Thursday called on the nation’s public to rally behind the peace effort following the announcement by deserted FARC leaders that they will return to arms.
Humberto de la Calle condemned the actions of “Ivan Marquez,” “Jesus Santrich,” and “El Paisa,” after they announced a “new stage of struggle” but praised “the vast majority” of former combatants who have committed to the process.
“The 2016 peace agreement is a historic achievement that has no going back. Thus is not this first nor will it be the last crisis of the process. We call on all Colombians come together and extend the peace process,” said De la Calle.
The former negotiator, who said he also spoke on behalf of High Commissioner for Peace Sergio Jaramillo, criticized the current administration of President Ivan Duque for constantly attacking the process, calling on them to act “as a State” and not “with party criteria.”
“Again and again, we told the National Government that its permanent attacks on the process and risks of legal destabilization could lead commanders to make the wrong decisions,” said the official.
Por nuestra parte reafirmamos nuestra disponibilidad para contribuir en la marcha del proceso de paz con un sentido de altruismo y generosidad pic.twitter.com/i8QT6pZqG0
— Humberto de la Calle (@DeLaCalleHum) August 29, 2019
De la Calle, who essentially brokered an end to a more than half-century-long war between the Colombian state and the FARC also called on the international community to continue to support the current peace process.
We call on the international community, in particular the United Nations Security Council, to redouble its vigilance and support for the process. It is time to accompany it with full force. We repeat, peace is a historical achievement that has no going back.”
Humberto De la Calle
In concluding his speech, De la Calle addressed the victims, again reiterating the need to rally together to move forward with the peace process so that Colombia does not suffer a repeat of the tragedies of war.
“We hope that the victims contribute to surround and strengthen the process. We ask Colombians to think about future victims, those we must avoid,” he said.
The consequences of this allegedly worst case scenario are uncertain as the vast majority of the 13,000 FARC members who demobilized and disarmed in 2017 have so far complied with the peace deal.
President Ivan Duque, whose far-right party has categorically opposed the peace process, did not immediately respond to the FARC leaders’ announcement to rearm.
The rearmament of Marquez and Santrich further complicates Colombia’s peace process that has progressed but has been marred by delays and irregularities.