Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon said Wednesday that there is no reason for guerrilla groups to exist in Colombia, and called for all illegal armed groups to lay down their weapons.
“Today’s existence of the guerrilla in Colombia doesn’t make sense, just as it doesn’t make sense for any illegal armed group to exist. The best thing they can do is cease all criminal activity, set the hostages free and be able to take a more revolutionary decision, which is to ask the people for forgiveness for the damage they have caused with violence,” Garzon said.
“All this criminality, all these irrational acts, the only thing it generates is more repudiation in the population. Please don’t continue with these violent acts,” Garzon said.
The vice president’s comments were made in response to the spate of attacks committed by left-wing rebels since President Juan Manuel Santos took office on August 7. His presidency began amid FARC peace overtures, after eight years of rebel losses under former President Alvaro Uribe‘s hardline anti-insurgent policies.
The Colombian office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is investigating allegations that some recent attacks committed by guerrillas may constitute war crimes.
Allegations have been made that guerrillas shot and burned alive some of the fourteen police officers in an attack in Caqueta, after the police patrol vehicle went over a land mine, and stuffed the body of a dead policeman with explosives and planted land mines before withdrawing in an attack in Putumayo.