Colombian leftist group the FARC denied that they released a statement Friday in support of a constitutional reform known as the Legal Framework for Peace that would give legal benefits to demobilized guerrillas and paramilitaries.
A statement released on website radiocafestereo.nu last week pledged the FARC’s approval of the proposed legal reform which has passed seven of eight required debates in Congress. The final debate will take place in Bogota Monday.
“It is clear that the real authors of these papers seek to create confusion in the public opinion,” a communique from the FARC Secretariat “sent from the mountains of Colombia” read Monday. The FARC “has nothing to do with the strange statement released on Friday,” it added.
The owners of the Swedish-based website admitted to being hacked Saturday. “The key to enter as an administrator(…) was changed making the rapid correction of this information impossible,” they said.
The FARC reiterated their commitment to peace in hopes of finding “a political solution [to the armed conflict] founded on social justice.”
The allegedly fake statement caused a furor in Colombia, with many — including President Juan Manuel Santos — doubting its authenticity.
The Legal Framework for Peace is part of a move by the Santos administration to reform the widely discredited Justice and Peace law of 2006, which aimed to facilitate the demobilization of the paramilitary group, the AUC.
Domestic and international critics were vocal about the reform potentially granting impunity to armed leaders responsible for the worst human rights violations.
They also warned that the bill could allow for guerrilla and paramilitary leaders to eventually hold political office. Santos defended the draft May 23, promising none “of the guerrilla leaders will reach elected office because of this legislation. That’s not possible.”