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Communiqués published by the Peace Delegation, the Central High Command and the National Secretariat of the FARC-EP
Thursday, 19 March 2015 00:00

Human rights, victims and peace

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Havana, Cuba, site of the peace talks, March 19, 2015

In the General Agreement for the Termination of the conflict and the Construction of a stable and lasting peace, signed by the government and the FARC-EP on August 26, 2012, it is stated specifically that "Respect for human rights in every corner of the national territory is a State purpose that should be promoted".

The comprehensiveness of the Agreement, because of its raison d??tre, because of its purpose, should be understood as a basis for the commitment to the full realization of human rights, as a duty assumed by two disputing parties in a process of dialogues to achieve peace, converging visions and actions towards a political settlement that benefits the majorities. This is about materializing the human right to peace with social justice and achieving recognition of the comprehensiveness, indivisibility, interdependence, equality, universality, enforceability and progressiveness of Human Rights with the characteristic of being inherent to the dignity of human beings, as an ethical and political principle that binds us. Therefore, the FARC-EP advocate a holistic, comprehensive and coherent position on this concept, in each of the proposals, topics and partial agreements we have agreed at the Conversation Table in Havana.

So we did when we spoke on the first item of the Agenda, "Comprehensive agricultural development policy", referring to section four: "Social development: health, education, housing, eradication of poverty", which focuses on the problem of land and territory. The same happened when we discussed the second item of the Agenda, "political participation", referring to the "rights and guarantees for the exercise of the opposition"; and when we discussed the third point about the "Solution to the problem of illicit drugs." In this regard we defended an approach that goes to the causes and promotes the development of substitution programs that address the situation of communities and environmental recovery.

In the above we have said that this is not only about vindicating some rights, but all of them, and also to demand the accomplishment of the State?s duties to take measures in order to overcome poverty, inequality, the lack of democracy and all kinds of hardships.

Therefore, for the discussion of the fifth item, "Victims?, we have said that their compensation "is at the center of the agreement National Government - FARC-EP," and we need to address not only the theme "Truth" but also ?Human rights of the victims." Consequently, with our usual transparency, we declare:

1) The guarantee of human rights, by definition, is a central responsibility that exclusively involves the State. This was assumed by the regime in Colombia, but only formally, in the Constitution and by law. The reality is that this duty has been historically abandoned; proof of this are the massive violations of all kinds of rights, whether economic, social, cultural, environmental, gender, or political and civil rights. Likewise, peace, which is part of the constitutional order of the institutions, as an enforceable right and duty, has been sullied.
It?s because of this systematic violence against human rights and peoples, responsibility of the State, that we have taken up arms.
2) In search of reconciliation, it is a main purpose of this Table to come to agreements that will recompose political and legal structures, in order to resolve the conditions of oppression and exclusion, founding a new institutional framework capable of solving the serious problems of injustice that caused the conflict.
3) Throughout our history, in the territories where we have developed political-military actions and made presence and deployed our revolutionary project, we have had to assume, to a great extent, the role of State, always absent in regard to its role in guaranteeing human rights. And we have done so, seeking to vindicate all economic, social and cultural rights denied to the communities, exercising solidarity and especially the protection of fundamental rights. We still continue this social task of defense and improvement amidst war, making it compatible with the search for a negotiated solution that allows us to reach a more advanced stage of constitutional redefinition.
This reality of the insurgency as a new State where the old regime only represented repression and contempt doesn?t replace the political, historical and legal liability of the Colombian State and the accountability by the sectors that have used this State machinery against the majorities.

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4) Specifically, in the context of measures of de-escalation, after fifteen unilateral gestures of the FARC-EP for peace and humanization, we wonder: What is the government of President Santos doing to assume its comprehensive human rights obligations regarding victims? Isn?t this government generating thousands of victims on a daily basis, as a product of its devastating economic policies? Where is the comprehensive, territorial and environmental approach it talks about, in order to socially repair the victims? Is there interest of the State to respect human rights, when the principle of favorability and immunity of the non-combatant civilians is being trampled with the attacks at close range against the FARC-EP?s unilateral truce? Don?t they realize that doing so, they are violating the Geneva Conventions in its broadest sense; that obstructing the truce is to deprive civilians of a right acquired by non-combatants?

Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP

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