FARC members announced that the group is not willing to let the peace process with the Colombian government to become a “Nuremberg tribunal to judge guerrillas,” international media reported on Tuesday.
Members of the FARC negotiating team Jesus Emilio Carvajalino, alias ‘Andres Paris,’ and Fidel Rondon spoke with the Andes agency in Ecuador on Tuesday regarding the progress and challenges of the peace talks with the Colombian government since November 2012.
Paris reiterated the need for a truth commission for victims in the Colombian armed conflict, in which state responsibility is also clarified, warning that “if there is no progress made toward this truth commission, there will be no more peace talks.”
Rondon told the Andes agency that “We will deal with the weight of the responsibility that falls on the [FARC] establishment and insurgency, but the work of the Centre for Historical Memory needs revision, independent from the government…,” referring to the a government-financed research group that investigates crimes committed by armed groups in the Colombia conflict.
“The conflict needs to be re-examined from at least the year 1936, and must include the responsibility for the war unleashed by the state against the people.
“The participation of all parties, including the Catholic Church, needs to be recognized. The Center of Historical Memory is missing the voices of the insurgents, and the rest of the Colombian population,” he added.
The FARC and Colombian government enter the sixth day on Tuesday in the 24 day cycle of dialogues, reportedly working double time to reach an agreement on the subject of illicit drugs by the end of May.
The the delegations intend to skip the next point of disarmament negotiations for now in order to move onto the topic of victims.
FARC Commander Ivan Marquez recently stated that before the issue of victims can be discussed, a truth commission must be established.
Rondon claimed on Tuesday that the government is handling each of the six points in the peace talks as if it were the FARC who must respond to the state.
“In the case of the victims negotiation, the government is prepared to show that the FARC is solely responsible for between 600 and 700,000 deaths and disappearances since 1948, but we are the victims,” continued Rondon, “the guerrilla insurgence began as a response to state violence, and now they are turning the tables on us to turn the Havana talks into a tribunal for guerillas.”
While the negotiations have led to partial agreements on three different points, Andres Paris said that it will be more difficult to arrive at an agreement regarding victims, since the government is inclined to place all the blame on the FARC for those murdered, disappeared, or forced to evacuate during the armed conflict.
“We cannot begin the negotiation as defendants,” Paris concluded. “We are also victims and accusers of the Colombian state.”
- ‘Proceso de paz no se puede convertir en un tribunal de Núremberg contra las Farc’ (El Espectador)
- Farc afirman que proceso de paz no es una mesa para juzgar a los guerrilleros (El Pais)
- FARC: “Si no hay avance en esta comisión, ahí paran los diálogos” (entrevista completa) (Public news agency for Equador and Latin America)
- FARC-EP Responde Al Departamento De Estado De Los Estados Unidos (FARC daily press release)