Two ex-commanders of guerrilla group the FARC said Tuesday they would not appear in front of Colombia’s war tribunal on claims they lack guarantees.
“Ivan Marquez,” who was the FARC’s lead negotiator during peace talks, is scheduled to appear in front of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), on May 2. He said that he will not be appearing, claiming his safety would be put at risk by a physical appearance.
“El Paisa” has failed to attend any of the court’s calls to submit to justice, which has sparked the JEP to order his arrest last week.
The two published an open letter on Twitter, laying out their objections to the formation of the war tribunal, and the ongoing failures of the implementation of the 2016 peace deal with the FARC by the government of President Ivan Duque.
This war tribunal is not the one promised by the Peace Accords, due to the will, whim, or fear of the truth of those who give orders of State, and who hold the highest responsibility for the conflict itself.
Ivan Marquez and El Paisa
Former President Alvaro Uribe, who is currently in the Senate, should be in front of the tribunal, the two argued, for his involvement in paramilitary activity, the false positives scandals, and his “string of other barbarities.”
In their letter, the two criticized Duque for his stubborn pursuit of his path of “objecting to peace instead of war.”
At least 100 FARC members have been murdered since the peace accords were signed in November 2016.
Many in the political movement have also expressed concern around the ongoing lack of security for both politicians and ex combatants across the Country.
The two claim that the lack of security measures around the truth commission are due to certain sectors of the political estate living in fear of the truth that the transitional justice system aims to establish.
The letter also points out the tensions with the JEP itself, including those who openly opposed the peace process now being involved in the tribunal as judges or prosecutors.
A justice which is interested only in knowing facts attributed to certain actors but which is permissive and avoids demanding accountability for others, doesn’t deserve to be called by that name.
Ivan Marquez and Oscar Montero (El Paisa)
Furthermore, missing rebel commanders believe that the US government is trying to sabotage the country’s peace process in order to seek their extradition, after the arrest and order for extradition against ex-FARC leader Jesus Santrich, on unsubstantiated US drug-related charges.