Several disappeared former FARC commanders have assured authorities they have not abandoned Colombia’s peace process, even though they are out of sight.
Four of seven missing FARC leaders have sought contact with the Prosecutor General’s Office, senators and the public, to assure that they have not and will not join dissident groups created by disappointed former FARC guerrillas.
Henry Castellanos, a.k.a. Romaña, once one of the FARC’s most feared guerrilla commanders, disappeared weeks ago from a camp in Meta, central Colombia, where he was leading hundreds of former rebels reintegrate.
He was since rumored to be in the northeast of Colombia accompanied by a group of 80 FARC members.
In a letter made public on Tuesday, Romaña told the government that he was still committed to making the increasingly shaky deal work.
According to the prosecution, Romaña would not be expelled from the peace process and “legitimately demands the implementation of productive projects” that would allow him and other FARC members to reintegrate.
#ATENCIÓN Carta de Henry Castellanos #Romaña a #Fiscalía reafirma su compromiso con cumplimiento del Acuerdo de Paz, pero reclama legítimamente implementación de proyectos productivos. Seguridad jurídica se mantendrá por su decisión de no volver a la ilegalidad
— Fiscalía Colombia (@FiscaliaCol) September 11, 2018
Ivan Marquez, El Paisa and Fabian Ramirez
Hernan Dario Velasquez, or “El Paisa,” who was running the reintegration camp, went off the grid together with Marin and “Fabian Ramirez.”
Multiple senators visited their camp on Tuesday and were told that the guerrilla commander were still committed to the peace process, but lacked confidence that they would not be betrayed by the government of President Ivan Duque.
FARC members in the camp gave the senators a letter from Ramirez in which he explains why he has gone off the grid.
I want to remind you that when we began… as a political party, we had a high level of trust with the State organizations, but with what happened with our comrade Jesus Santrich, that trust is no longer the same. That’s why we chose not to be victims of the maneuvers that can muddy us… I am currently traveling between Florencia, Cartagena del Chairá, Puerto Rico and San Vicente del Caguan in Caqueta to explain to the people the need to support the peace process and regroup those who grew tired of the government’s failure to comply… I want to let the Colombian people know that we are committed to peace, victims and reconciliation more than ever. The legal limbo I’m in has made me less visible, but I’m not hiding… We continue to bet on the peace process for the benefit of all.
FARC leader “Fabian Ramirez”
“We have been told that Ivan Marquez as well as El Paisa continue with the process” like Ramirez, leftist Senator Ivan Cepeda told newspaper El Tiempo.
According to Cepeda, the two former rebel leaders have been avoiding authorities because they are afraid they also are afraid of getting arrested and possibly extradited.
The Senate’s Peace Commission asked the guerrillas in the compound to make sure that the missing guerrilla leaders, like Ramirez and Romaña, reaffirm their commitment to the peace process.
It is unclear where the other four missing former commanders, “Ivan Ali,” “Albeiro Cordoba,” “El Zarco Aldinever,” and “Enrique Marulanda,” the son of FARC founder “Manuel Marulanda.”