Former Colombian paramilitary leaders have again asked to participate in the peace process between the government and FARC, local media reported.
The ex-commanders, the self-proclaimed “authorized negotiators and spokesmen of the extinct AUC” on Thursday delivered a letter to Colombia’s House of Representatives requesting that they have a spot at the negotiating table in Cuba.
“We were actors during the political and military conflict…therefore we consider it appropriate to take account for our deeds…so that the Peace Commission…see[s] the importance of knowing…[our] experience as a proactive contribution to the sustainability of the current Colombian Peace Process,” El Espectador reported the letter as saying.
The letter was signed by nine ex-commanders, among them Edwar Cobos Tellez, the former commander of the Montes de Maria bloc; Luis Eduardo Cifuentes, the Manila bloc ex-commander; Ramon Isaza, former commander of the Magdalena Medio; and Manuel de Jesus Piraban of the Heroes del Llano bloc.
Salvatore Mancuso, the extradited leader of the now defunct AUC, wrote Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos a letter last month, which went ignored, requesting that the AUC play a prominent role during the ongoing peace talks.
The aforementioned Peace Commission has collected the opinions and proposals of various sectors of Colombia’s civil society in order to provide the peace talks with a wider range of perspectives. The FARC on Wednesday welcomed the inclusion of the Peace Commission.