Colombia’s oldest and largest rebel group the FARC released on Tuesday 10 points that will be discussed in the next round of peace negotiations in Cuba, according to a communique on the FARC’s website.
The ten points, revealed in a communique titled “Open constitutional process for a transition towards a new Colombia,” aim to enact a comprehensive plan to increase participation of the Colombian citizenry in political and social processes, establish a more sovereign nation, and forge a new economic model through constitutional reform.
1. Democratization of Colombia and Colombian’s participation in everyday political and social life
The first point outlined by the FARC seeks to empower the citizenry by changing the political climate of Colombia.
- Predominance of direct democratic processes supported by political formation of population to increase participation in decision-making.
- The increased direct participation of the citizenry in the political process through revocation of mandates, participatory budgeting and representative forms of participation.
- The construction of a social democracy that has a base in material equality with respect to wealth, property, land, and earnings.
- The elimination of common goods and rights from private hands, such as health, education, social security, culture, “interculturality,” food security, science, water, environment, and research.
- Configure new institutions that democratically solve economic, social, cultural, and economic conflicts. Construct territorial autonomy for regions, states, and municipalities as well as for the indigenous, farming, African-Colombian, and indigenous communities, and participation of said communities in their administration.
- Recognition and encouragement of autonomous forms of governance in the various communities mentioned in the previous point.
2. Democratic restructuration of the state
This point emphasizes a change in the way the state is structured, which has existed to “attend to the interests of the dominant classes and perpetuate capitalism” in Colombia.
- Redefine power in Colombia, limit the powers of the President, recognition and stimulation of social and popular participation in different modalities.
- Reform the legal-economic structure and the social appropriation of political economics. The military should be a force for peace, reconciliation, and protection of national sovereignty.
- Reform the judicial branch that will liberate it from political connections and return it to its independence as an autonomous entity.
- All reforms should be accompanied by a political and electoral reform with the goal of equality of opportunity and conditions, the eradication of clientelism and corruption to recuperate the transparency and credibility of the political and electoral systems.
- Guarantees for the political participation of the opposition.
- Popular election of leaders of investigatory bodies such as the prosecutor general and the Ombudsman. The dissolution of the public ministry.
3. Demilitarization of everyday life
The third point attempts to diminish the influence of the military in everyday life, citing the fact that if a peace agreement is reached, there is no need for the current military structure in existence.
- Distancing of the Colombian armed forces from those of foreign entities, including the US, UK, and Israel.
- Reformation of military structures, the influence of the military in subjects such as everyday life, security, economics, finances of the state, culture, education and educational mediums.
- The elimination of the military powers possessed by the police
4. Dismantle “narco-paramilitary” structures and corruption
The fourth point criticizes the role of the state and its connections to paramillitary groups saying it’s related to capitalism and represents a threat to the democratization of “political, economic, social, and cultural aspirations of the nation.”
- The identification, denunciation, and confrontation of paramilitary connections at all levels of society
- Purification of all institutions with deep-seeded corruption and connections to paramilitaries
5. Justice in favor of peace, and the materialization of the rights of victims of the armed conflict
The fifth point highlights the establishment of justice to be a base for the construction of peace. It also reiterates the importance of having a peace that recognizes the rights of victims of the armed conflict.
- The recognition that a majority of victims directly affected by the armed conflict have been persecuted for leftist views and for alternative views of society.
- Collectively construct policies that will honor the memory of all victims of the Colombian armed conflict.
- Establishment of a commission to investigate the origins and development of the conflict, in addition to a “truth commission” to avoid repeating the same mistakes as before.
6. De-privatization and de-mercantilization of socio-economic relations
The sixth point places value on the halting and reversal of privatization, and moving away from what the FARC claim as a “mercantilist” system to incorporate a more inclusionary socio-economic system.
- Changing the “mercantilist” system for a system that subsidizes people excluded by the current arrangement.
- The suspension/re-negotiation of all free trade agreements.
- Social re-appropriation of aspects of social life that have been diminished due to capitalism; including health, education, social security, housing, culture, and the guarantee of income that values all types of work.
- The end of the conflict should allow the allocation of resources previously intended for war to social programs attending to the needs of the general population.
- Drastically reduce economic and social inequality, eliminate hunger and poverty, and to dignify the life and work of the poor guaranteeing them happiness and a fruitful life.
7. Recuperation of natural resources and social reapportionment of common goods
The seventh point deals with the exploitation of natural resources and the FARC’s opposition to the use of natural resources for the accumulation of wealth.
- Replace the destructive relationship that exists between nature and the extractionist economic model with one that benefits the people through greater dividends and royalties.
- Recognition that the exploitation of natural resources has been key to structural violence, the dispossession of land, forced displacement, and to the death and persecution of individuals.
- Recognition that exploitation of resources strengthens economic dependency, in addition to favoring multinational corporations and local economic groups.
8. Democratic and socio-environmental reorganization of land and rural and urban territories
The eighth point discusses the necessity to reorganize socio-environmental and democratic reorganization of land from the hands of the few to a more productive scheme of land use and resource distribtion.
- Protection of fragile ecosystems and the responsible access and use of water by part of the population.
- Recognize and respect the different ethnic and cultural ways of life and of administering the land.
- Encourage agricultural uses of land, especially to produce food.
- Establish strict environmental rules and prohibit the extraction of natural resources, case-dependent.
- Regulations that will assist small and medium-sized mining operations that will contribute to environmental sustainability.
- Provide alternatives to farmers who cultivate illicit crops
- Dispossessed people should have access to land by means of restitution, the democratization of property and the overcoming of large land holdings.
- The recognition of lands owned by farmers, especially through special reservations dedicated to farmers, allowing for autonomy in their decision making process.
- The annulment of free trade agreements, the prohibition of foreign firms to purchase land, regulations against hoarding and financial speculation, the protection of rural communities’ intellectual property and native seeds and prohibition of the use of genetically modified foods.
- Reform of urban areas to prevent segregation and discrimination of people based on capitalist interests.
- The construction of physical and social infrastructure that allows for peoples’ basic rights to be fulfilled.
- Deepen reforms relating to the decentralization of government for greater autonomy at a local level.
- Guarantee democratic processes through citizen participation in budgeting relating to urban design, planning, construction, and execution of projects.
9. New economic model and instruments to direct economy towards well-being of citizens
The ninth point discusses the redefinition of the economic model employed by Colombia. It emphasizes a switch to an economy that favors domestic production and de-emphasizes the neoliberal economic model.
- The recognition that various types of property and production can coexist within an economy
- Re-establish domestic production and recuperation of the economic capacity of the state
- The new economy should work towards the deployment and consolidation of diverse sectors of the economy, which should be articulated in a creative form to attend to the needs of the domestic market.
- Normative reforms to redefine existing roles of government entities
- Scheme in which those who have more, pay more in taxes.
- End of tax breaks and exemptions for firms with large amounts of revenue
- Establishment of higher royalties that will benefit the Colombian people, that will be at least 80% for extraction of natural resources.
10. Reestablishment of sovereignty and integration of our (Latin) America
The 10th and final point aims to eliminate the dependence of Colombia on foreign powers, specifically intervention on the part of the United States – claimed by the FARC to be a major source of the violence in Colombia.
- Denounce all forms of colonialism, dependency and imperialist exploitation.
- Demand the retreat of foreign powers from all bases in Latin America, establishing it as a ‘region of peace.’
- The imposition of measures that protect Colombians from treaties with foreign powers.
- Proceso constituyente abierto para la transición hacia la Nueva Colombia (FARC Communique)