The FARC rebel group proposed on Sunday that a national census on victims of the Colombian armed conflict be initiated once a final peace accord with the government is signed.
With the purpose of “approximating the number of victims as close as possible to the historical reality of the conflict,” the guerrilla group proposed the census be carried out by representatives of victims’ organizations, academic experts, and the government’s statistics department DANE.
“To give greater recognition to the victims, it is necessary to characterize them according to the victimizing events – following international, national, and guerrilla parameters (and of course with the gender perspective) – in addition to realizing a census, within 18 months following the signing of en eventual agreement. Only then will their rights materialize in a real and effective form,” rebel commander “Rubin Moro” read.
The new proposal was part of the FARC’s second minimum proposal on victims of the conflict, one of the six themes being discussed in the peace talks. In proposals that were made public on Saturday, the guerrillas said to recognize military victims of FARC war crimes while submitting to the Geneva Conventions related to war crimes.
Within this second set of minimum proposals, the rebel group is also suggesting that the victims of the “economic model and the political economy” be recognized.
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.
According to the government, some 6 million Colombians are victims of the conflict that has devastated the country since 1964.
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.
A fourth delegation of victims will attend the talks on November 2.