Killing of FARC members biggest threat to peace: advocates tell UN security council

(Image: Defendamos la Paz)

The ongoing killing of demobilized guerrillas is the biggest obstacle to peace in Colombia, a group of prominent peace advocates wrote the UN Security Council on Friday.

The 15 ambassadors to the council arrived on thursday for a four-day visit to observe the progress and challenges of the peace process first hand.

Defendamos la Paz, a citizen movement made up of politicians, victims representative, demobilized rebel leaders and civil society groups, wrote the ambassadors that the killing of FARC members is a “a systematic chain of violence against those who laid down their arms in various regions of the country.”

Defendamos la Paz

According to the group dedicated to defending the peace process, “the crimes against people in the process of reincorporation constitute one of the most serious threats to the peace process, as they seek to undermine confidence in it and thereby promote the return to arms.”

The peace advocates warned about “hate campaigns” promoted by the country’s far-right “against those who seek to leave their past of armed confrontation behind, questioning their desire for peace and reconciliation” that would incite violence against demobilized FARC members.

The latest report on the UN’s verification mission in Colombia said it had verified the murder of 123 FARC members, more than 1% of those who signed up for the peace process that began in 2016.

The FARC itself claimed earlier this week that this number has risen to 137.

President Ivan Duque on multiple occasions announced measures to curb this violence, but according to the peace advocated he should adhere to the protection and security mechanisms agreed in the peace deal with the FARC.

Defendamos la Paz

The FARC has not been the only target of violence; hundreds of community leaders and human rights defenders have been assassinated since the beginning of the peace process.

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