The Patriotic Union (UP) was established in 1985 as a joint effort between the Colombian Communist Party and FARC during the course of then-held peace negotiations to take part in politics. It was officially recognized as a political party in 1986 but its decline began in 1987 after it was consistently attacked by paramilitaries, drug lords and rogue members of the armed forces.
Now, FARC leaders are calling for the truth regarding the decimation of the UP political party and reparations for the victims of what has been labeled as “political genocide.” Some of the FARC’s key demands include “the right to participate in the establishment, exercise and control of political power” as well as “to form political parties, movements and groups.”
In point ten of their demands, the FARC explain the necessity of a “historical truth commission” that would be intended to help “reconstruct” historical memory. They propose that this would be achieved by a special ceremony to mark the occaision that would have “extensive media coverage.”
The focus on the demand is for a restorative process of the UP. FARC have requested that a special law be used to restore seats and posts that were held by the UP before the systematic destruction of the party took place in the late eighties.
It was revealed on July 9 that the UP had regained it’s legal status and would be allowed to run in the 2014 Colombian elections. While this will certainly be good news for FARC leaders in the middle of peace talks, the requirement for the illegality of paramilitary groups will now be crucial. They have specially requested that the government applies “effective commitment to the eradication and banning of al paramilitary groups and illegal practice of counterinsurgency.”
- Farc’s political party regains legal status (BBC)
- GENERAL AGREEMENT FOR THE TERMINATION OF THE CONFLICT AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A STABLE AND LASTING PEACE (Farc-EPeace)
- PARTICIPACIÓN POLÍTICA PARA LA DEMOCRATIZACIÓN REAL, LA PAZ CON JUSTICIA SOCIAL Y LA RECONCILIACIÓN NACIONAL (Paz Farc-EP)
- Víctimas del Genocidio Político contra Unión Patriótica