10 Days Remaining

Friday 3rd
posted by Morning Star in World

DEMOBBED national liberation fighters are demanding the Colombian government end its “tricks” and implement a year-old peace deal.

Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (Farc) leader Ivan Marquez called the government’s failure to implement the landmark peace accords a “swindle.”

Speaking at a press conference in Bogota on Wednesday, he urged President Juan Manuel Santos to take the “necessary decisions so that the commitments materialise.”

“We don’t want tricks, we want the accords implemented,” Mr Marquez said. “We have complied totally, we have laid down our arms.”

Farc guerillas began moving to demobilisation camps earlier this year to disarm under the supervision of the UN.

Mr Marquez was chief negotiator for the then-Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (also Farc) during four years of talks with the government in Cuba’s capital Havana.

Fellow Farc national leadership member Jesus Santrich said if there was not a “change of course” the peace process was “heading for a cliff.”

“Implementation is turning into a frustrating, disgusting renegotiation and this cannot continue like this,” he said.

Mr Santrich said former guerillas faced “legal and personal insecurity” despite the amnesty in place since last December.

On Tuesday, two Farc members and local community leaders were attacked after a meeting in Narino department. Orlando Garcia was killed and Juan Pablo Guanga was seriously wounded.

Peasant, indigenous and Afro-Colombian groups launched an indefinite strike in September to demand land reforms promised under the accords — including the return of property seized by big landowners with the help of right-wing paramilitary death squads.

Earlier this week the Patriotic March umbrella group said the government had ignored their demands and instead sent riot police to break up ongoing protests in he northern Catatumbo region on the Venezuelan border.

Farc also confirmed Monday’s reports that its leader Rodrigo Londono — better known by his nom de guerre Timochenko — would stand in next year’s presidential election.

“The common people and those who dream of a new country will have their representation,” Mr Marquez said.

Former senator and peace advocate Piedad Cordoba had hoped to be a unity candidate of the left.

Early this week Mr Londono said: “Just like all of you, what motivates me is that the [peace] process moves forward.”