Crimes committed by the Colombian state are much worse than those committed by the FARC, according to a rebel commander currently negotiating peace with the government.
“Fabian Ramirez,” one of the leaders of the FARC in Havana, said in an editorial on the rebel website that the FARC recognizes mistakes and is willing to repair the “serious errors” committed in Colombia’s five decades long civil conflict that has killed more than 220,000.
In spite of the rebels responsibility in thousands of deaths and kidnappings, The FARC negotiator stated that guerrilla crimes have “never been in acts of bad faith or political plots to violate people’s rights.” But instead the FARC’s fight is for the disadvantaged and has an “altruistic sense.”
While acknowledging the FARC’s responsibility for crimes committed during the conflict, Ramirez underlined that their crimes in no way comparable to those committed by the Colombian government.
The rebel commander said FARC “failures that could never be comparable to the crimes of the state and the dominant power bloc that imposed upon us the misery, inequality, mourning and this terrible war we want to end.”
Colombia’s government and the country’s largest rebel group FARC began negotiating an end to the 50 year armed conflict in November 2012. The subject of victims reparations, which they are currently discussing, has proven to be one of the most delicate talking points.
So far, three groups of 12 victims have traveled to Cuba to testify before the government and rebel commissions. Among the victim representatives are victims of the FARC, the state, and state-aligned paramilitary groups.
Colombia’s government and the FARC have negotiation peace since 2012. They have made preliminary agreements on combatting illicit crops, rural reforms and political participation of demobilized guerrillas.
The 30th round of peace talks will start on October 24 with further discussions of victims’ reparations. A fourth delegation of victims will attend the talks on November 2.