The FARC insisted on a “high level commission to clarify the truth” about the alleged theft of large expanses of land from the Colombian people by the left-wing guerrillas, suggesting former President Jimmy Carter participate.
Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC, have rejected a government accusation over the theft of almost 2,000 square miles of land in Caguan in the Chaqueta department of central Colombia.
“Advances in the peace talks in Havana, the first steps towards the construction of the peace agreement, cannot risk distorting the truth around the historical responsibility for the violent accumulation of land,” said Ivan Marquez, the rebel’s chief negotiator at the FARC-government peace talks.
Marquez called for an integrated commission with representatives from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Colombian government, farmers, FARC delegates, and Jimmy Carter.
Carter came to Bogota in January to assess the ongoing peace talks. Carter, president of the United States from 1977 to 1981 and a winner of the Nobel Peace prize, was invited to a dinner by Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos in the country’s capital.
Contrary to numerous reports of the guerrillas operating almost carte blanche in large swaths of Colombia and figures from the government’s Land Restitution Unit which said that 37% of all displacements are attributed to guerrillas, Marquez said they are not the ones to blame.
“They disfigure reality…in a badly intentioned and perverse form, they try to divert [attention] from the causes and from who is truly responsible for the robbery of close to 8 million hectares (19.7 million acres),” said Marquez.