Rebel group FARC on Tuesday released nine proposals regarding among others, citizen’s right to protest. Further proposals were regarding political culture for participation, peace and national reconciliation.
The proposals follow a series of nationwide anti government strikes, in which numerous sectors took to the streets to demonstrate against government policies. Protest’s in Bogota eventually led to the militarization of the capital while violence in south Colombia left 4 dead and 50 injured, according to local media.
Guerrilla negotiator “Marco Leon Calarca” released the proposals via a communique in Havana, Cuba, where rebel and government delegations have been negotiating an end to the armed conflict since November.
- Conditions for a democratic and participative political culture.
- Actions to recover the value and meaning of politics.
- Pedagogy for social appropriation of participation and the mechanisms for it.
- Democratic and participative political culture and conflict regulation.
- Ban of counter-insurgent and “national security” doctrines.
- Pedagogy and didactic on the peace Agreement and national reconciliation.
- Recognition and guarantees to protest and social and popular mobilization, right to subversion.
- Prohibition of military treatments to social and popular protests and dismantling of the ESMAD.
- No stigmatization and prohibition of criminalization of popular, political and social movements.
In an expansion of the first two points, the rebel group express their wish to eliminate values associated with neo-liberalism, as well as educate isolated social sectors regarding politics.
“The basic key elements of a new political culture are the elimination of the values imposed by neo-liberalism, like individualism, competence at any cost and survival of the fittest, to make place for humanist values, like solidarity and social cooperation,” explain the FARC.
“Educational processes will be pormoted on political, economic, social, environmental and cultural aspects, especially focused on excluded, discriminated and segregated social sectors,” added the guerrillas.
Regarding conflict regulation, including strikes and demonstrations, the rebel group expressed their desire for dialogue as opposed to violence.
“[The FARC seek] peaceful solutions to conflict situations which derive from state policies, through dialogue and negotiation,” explain the rebels.
The guerrillas also suggest a change in rhetoric regarding the military forces during demonstrations, from repressive to peace building.
” The Military Forces (at this moment repressive against the civil population) should be changed into peace-building forces and guarantors of social justice and national sovereignty,” state the FARC.
The guerrillas also seek the dismantling of ESMAD, Colombia’s anti riot police, who have been accused of disproportionate aggression during recent anti government demonstrations.
The FARC and the government have been involved in peace talks since November in order to seek a negotiated end to a conflict that has lasted almost 50 years.
While an accord has been reached regarding land reform, no agreements have been made on the issue of the FARC’s political participation, drug trafficking, the practicalities of the end of the armed conflict and the rights of the victims.