The UN lashed out at Colombia’s president Ivan Duque on Tuesday, accusing his government of “inciting violence” against demobilized FARC rebels.
In an extraordinarily harsh statement, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions Agnes Callamard urged the government to “stop inciting violence against the demobilized FARC” and “implement the peace accords” agreed with the former guerrillas in 2016.
We urge the Colombian Government to stop inciting violence against the demobilized FARC-EP and to comply with the guarantees given to them during the negotiations in Havana, especially respect for the right to life.
UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions Agnes Callamard
The president’s far-right Democratic Center party has fiercely opposed the ongoing peace process — and has even tried to sabotage it — but have apparently worn out the patience of the international community.
“The apparent disregard for these guarantees at state level is detrimental to peace, development and stability. The government must take immediate steps to implement the peace agreements,” Callamard and five other high-ranking UN officials said in a letter.
The unprecedented scolding followed Defense Minister Guillermo Botero’s multiple attempts to cover up the homicide of a demobilized guerrilla earlier this year.
Colombia’s military leaves defense minister lying on his own over murder of FARC member
The killing of FARC member Dimar Torres “is a challenge to the peace process, as it does not comply with the Final Agreement, which demands respect for the lives of all ex-combatants who lay down their arms. It is therefore a violation of the guarantees agreed upon by Colombia,” the UN officials wrote.
Since the former guerrilla group signed peace with the government of former President Juan Manuel Santos in 2016, 135 FARC members and hundreds of social leaders trying to implement the peace process opposed by the government have been murdered.
Duque has increasingly come under fire both in Colombia and abroad for his administration’s chronic failures to implement and even frustrate the peace process that seeks to end decades of armed conflict and political violence.