Colombia’s peace commissioner on Thursday denied having censored a television program that sought to transmit an interview with FARC leader, despite evidence surrendered by the freedom of press foundation.
The chief of country’s Office of the High Commissioner for Peace (OACP), Miguel Ceballos, responded to a complaint by the Foundation of the Freedom of Press (FLIP) after state television was prohibited to air an interview with FARC leader “pastor Alape.”
Earlier this month, the FLIP condemned Ceballos’ office after one of his private contractors explicitly prohibited the transmission of the interview in a television program that came to life as part of the peace process that is opposed by the government.
The card, signed by Luis Roberto Rodriguez of the OACP, said that the program of Canal Institucional could not go on the air, because “the program is not about one party accusing the other party of things before millions of Colombians.”
The program in question, “Coffee with Gloria,” came to being after the FARC and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the former guerrillas signed peace in 2016.
One of the agreements was to allow the FARC access to the country’s mass media that have traditionally mainly had access to government propaganda.
The Coffee with Gloria program seeks to expose the different sides of the conflict in an attempt to show the complexities and ambiguities of the armed conflict that has been wreaking terror in Colombia for decades.
After the FLIP publishing the letter in which the government official explicitly banned the transmission, Ceballos insisted “it is not true that our office has impeded the transmission of the aforementioned interview.”
Colombia Reports read the letter that was published on the FLIP’s website and can only establish that the peace commissioner is lying.
The administration of President Ivan Duque has tried to impede progress of the country’s ongoing peace process on multiple occasions, but is opposed by a significant portion of society that is tired of war and the United Nations, which is monitoring the FARC’s and the government’s compliance to the peace deal.