The foreign responses followed the announcement of the FARC’s former peace negotiator “Ivan Marquez” and Duque’s announcement he will respond with force against anyone taking up arms again.
The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile, Marquez’ rearmament is “not the answer” to the government’s failures to implement the peace deal.
Duque’s “iron fist” response is an equally bad response, the UN’s top human rights chief said.
The answer is not to go back to war, but neither is showing an iron fist. Both approaches have proven to have very negative consequences for the human rights of the population.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet
Instead, the government should “redouble its efforts” to provide basic security to demobilized members of the FARC, which has seen more than 140 of its demobilized combatants assassinated during the peace process.
Colombia’s opposition backs FARC leader in call on Duque and former guerrillas to comply with peace deal
Bachelet was supported by the German government on Thursday, which said Marquez’ response to the government’s failures to comply with the peace deal “is the wrong way that the German government condemns.”
Instead, “in the current situation it is even more important to work consistently on the implementation of the peace agreement in Colombia.”
Duque has insisted he is implementing the peace process, but this has been contradicted by the FARC, Congress and peace movement Defendamos la Paz.
They have pointed out that Duque’s far-right party has consistently been trying to derail the peace process and that the government has consistently tried to delay or underfund key elements, for example in regards to victim reparation and rural land reform.
Duque’s ongoing failure to implement the peace deal as agreed with the guerrillas by his predecessor in 2016 is what has caused insecurity throughout the country and triggered the rearmament of FARC dissidents, according to the broadly supported peace movement.
“Again and again, we told the National Government that its permanent attacks on the process and risks of legal destabilization could lead commanders to make the wrong decisions,” according to former Peace Commissioner Sergio Jaramillo.
With the exception of the parties of Duque’s minority coalition, the peace movement is endorsed by the majority of Congress, victim organizations, former combatants of the FARC and their former enemies, the AUC, and prominent Colombians.
Colombian human rights organizations on Thursday urged the European Union and other foreign powers to continue to support the peace process and rigorously monitor the government’s compliance, or lack thereof.
It is key at this difficult time for the peace process that they continue to receive all possible political and financial support from the international community.
International Office for Human Rights – Action Colombia
While Duque has been trying to push through the far-right agenda of his Democratic party and minority coalition, his approval rating in Colombia dropped to 29% again in August.