In a televised address, Duque responded the FARC’s former political chief, “Ivan Marquez” and a number of other prominent former mid-level commanders that they had rearmed for “a new phase of the armed struggle.”
“Let it be clear to us Colombians that we are not facing the birth of a new guerrilla group, but the criminal threats of a gang of narcoterrorists,” said Duque.
Let there be no confusion. Our government will continue its peace with legality policy. We maintain our commitment with those [FARC members] who genuinely are making progress in their reintegration progress the way we have and has already produced tangible results.
President Ivan Duque
The president claimed that the newly announced dissident group “counts on the protection and support of the dictatorship of [Venezuelan President] Nicolas Maduro.”
Duque additionally said that he had talked to both the FARC and the war crimes tribunal to immediately expel the approximately 20 FARC members who appear in the video from the peace process.
The Special Jurisdiction of Peace had already announced it had begun the procedure to expel the former FARC members.
The FARC said in a statement that the dissident guerrillas “publicly broke with out party,” had excluded themselves from the peace process by taking up arms “and have assumed the consequences of their actions.”
According to Duque, these consequences mean that they will “suffer the full weight of the law.”
The president offered an $860,000 (COP3 billion) reward for every dissident guerrilla that appeared in the video with Marquez, a number of whom disappeared a year ago.
Duque rejected criticism that his administration’s failures to comply to with the peace deal triggered the FARC dissidents’ rearmament. “The only enemies of peace are those who want want to attack the country through terrorism,” said Duque.