The peace delegation of the FARC on Monday asked Colombia’s vice president for a measures to prevent civilian’s involvement in the ongoing armed conflict between guerrillas and state.
The FARC argued in an open letter to Vice President Angelino Garzon that “Humanitarian Minimums” are necessary in order to protect civilians from persecution and violence stemming from the ongoing conflict between leftist groups like the FARC and the ELN, with Colombian governmental forces.
The rebels stated that members of non-violent groups like the Patriotic March (Marcha Patriotica – MP) and the Patriotic Union (Union Patriotica – UP)) are being killed as a result of the conflict with their ideological counterparts who do opt for violent means to their political end. The FARC added that civilians supporting land restitution and leaders of student and unions are being similarly persecuted.
Colombia’s largest guerrilla group claimed that this violence against civilians is perpetrated by not only traditional police and military forces but by foreign advisers from the United States, England and Israel, as well as drug trafficking organizations formed from the now-defunct paramilitary organization AUC.
The letter concluded the government has acknowledged that a social and armed conflict is occurring in the country and therefore, is illogical to allow one side, the FARC, to pass a ceasefire agreement without a reciprocal peace offering from the government on the other end.
According to the FARC, any peace agreement must include new groups misnomered as “BaCrim” or criminal bands like the “Urabeños,” “Rastrojos,” and “ERPAC” which are nothing more than the continuation of paramilitary groups that never disbanded. The FARC contends that these groups also have the backing of the police and the military.
The Santos administration has repeatedly denied a unilateral ceasefire until after the peace accords are signed claiming that the FARC will use the peace to fortify their military capacities and supplies as they did in earlier peace attempts during the late 1990s and early 2000s under President Andres Pastrana.