FARC negotiator “Ivan Marquez” on Thursday rejected the possibility that members of the guerrilla group are sent to jail after reaching a negotiated end of Colombia’s armed conflict, claiming his organization committed no crimes against the people.
“We have not committed any crimes against the people,” claimed Marquez, whose organization has been accused of having committed thousands of murders, hundreds of kidnappings of civilians, the recruitment of minors and drug trafficking.
According to the rebel representative, prison sentences for FARC members could not be justified as the FARC has been “the response to terrorist state violence.”
Marquez spoke to the press following a joint press conference held together with representatives of the Colombian government in which the FARC laid out its demands for comprehensive socioeconomic reforms.
The rebel leader’s public appearance was the first since 2007, when he represented the FARC in the Venezuelan capital Caracas in negotiations over the release of hostages held by the FARC.
His rebel group has been fighting the Colombian state since 1964. The war between the state, left-wing guerrilla groups like the FARC and right-wing paramilitary organizations has cost the lives of at least 100,000 Colombians.