Uribe, who has been a bitter opponent of the peace process since before talks began, used the call to arms of the FARC’s former peace negotiator, “Ivan Marquez,” to claim “there was no peace, but pardon for those responsible for heinous crimes at a high institutional cost.”
The political patron of President Ivan Duque himself has been accused of war crimes and is expected in court in October for the alleged tampering of witnesses who have testified he formed a death squad.
At a campaign rally of an ally taking part in the October 27 local elections, Uribe went as far as calling to revoke the 2016 peace agreement.
“We must remove those agreements from the constitution, capture those bandits wherever they may be, recover the economy and strengthen our social policies. A firm hand against those bandits is what the country needs,” he said at the rally.
Opposition Senator Gustavo Bolivar responded on Twitter, claiming that Uribe and his far-right allies “pushed a part of the FARC into war” by obstructing the implementation of the peace deal.
Former President Juan Manuel Santos, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in delivering the historic peace deal, reiterated his support for the process.
Santos stressed that the vast majority of the FARC’s members continue to support the peace process.
“90% of the FARC is still in the peace process. We must continue to comply. The defectors must be repressed with all forcefulness. The battle for peace does not stop,” said the former head of state.
The issue of compliance is one that has been heavily debated throughout the peace process with the current administration of Ivan Duque being heavily criticized for its failure to comply with key facets of the peace deal.
Former presidential candidate Gustavo Petro, who narrowly lost out to Duque in last year’s election, expressed his disappointment with the development, also partially placing the blame on the current government’s lack of compliance.
“For now the violent ones win, the government and the insurgency. They have damaged the peace. The great peace, an era of peace, will only come from a dialogue between society and not with those in arms, and that dialogue will deal with the great social reforms that allow coexistence,” said Petro.
The opposition senator went on to slam Marquez and his fellow-dissidents for abandoning the peace process.
Ivan Marquez reacts as if we were in the twentieth century. In the century we live in and in the country we live in, weapons only lead to an alliance with drug trafficking and obscure economies. Barbarism, not revolutions, arise from that. The revolution is in peace.
FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño asked forgiveness for his former political chief’s call to arms and said that he and the rest of the 13,000 men and women who demobilized in 2017 will continue to be committed to peace.
The government’s former peace negotiator, Humberto de la Calle, urged the Colombian people to rally behind the peace process despite the most recent setback.
The emergence of Marquez’ dissident group is the latest blow to the peace process, which has suffered setbacks from the beginning, but continues to stand with the support of a significant part of the FARC and the population, and unanimous support from the United Nations.
While social and political leaders voiced all kinds of opinions, the government until publication had not responded.