Colombia’s prosecutor general called on the FARC‘s defense attorney to present evidence to back up claims of threats against demobilized guerrilla leaders.
The Prosecutor General’s Office called on FARC lawyer Enrique Santiago to provide specific evidence on claims he has made to Caracol Radio regarding threats of a criminal gang allegedly offering $1 million to assassinate demobilizing guerrilla commanders.
According to El Espectador, Prosecutor Luis Gonzalez Leon said that the Santiago must explain the origin of the complaints that he has presented in the media and social networks. At the moment, the investigating entity has not been able to confirm the veracity of the threats.
Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas has dismissed the allegations that there is a plan to assassinate the leaders of the FARC as they advance toward civilian life.
“There is no plan to assassinate FARC leaders,” said Villegas, who accused the FARC of manipulating the government to provide “security guarantees” to all members of the FARC.
As the left-wing rebels demobilize and continue on their path to becoming a political party, their greatest fear is that right-wing illegal armed groups will target reintegrating rebel fighters like they did in the 1980s and 90s when thousands of far-left political activists and politicians were assassinated, effectively ending the FARC’s first attempt to enter politics.
The FARC plans to complete its transition from Marxist guerrilla group to political party on September 1, when the demobilized rebels will formally announce the name of their new political party.
All commanders have been accused of war crimes and will first have to face justice. Only once they have fully completed their possible sentences and have repaired and reconciled with their victims the FARC chiefs will be allowed to take part in the election cycle.
According to the Center for Studies on Conflict Analysis (CERAC), there have been at least 15 assassinations of demobilizing FARC combatants and family members of the group over the course of the past two months.
Additionally, the Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation (PARES) has recorded 55 assassinations of community leaders and human rights activists in 2017, primarily in regions of the country where the FARC formerly exercised territorial control.