The 'Minga por la vida' (March for Life) was organized by indigenous peoples and organizations throughout Colombia today to reject the breaches of 1,300 agreements by the National Government on issues such as education, health, agricultural programs and ethnic approach in the implementation of the Havana Peace Agreement.
The peasants, indigenous and afrodescendents communities of the Cauca Department have been carrying out activities within the context of the national indefinite strike which is entering its fourth day in Colombia.
Today we, the delegations of the National Liberation Army, ELN and of the party People’s Alternative Revolutionary Force, FARC have met in Montecristi, Ecuador, birthplace of national hero Eloy Alfaro, with the purpose of evaluating the development of the processes of peace being carried out with the National Government.
For a little more than two weeks, the violent and dark hand of the extreme right, in its many forms and provenances, have been wandering through the south-west of Colombia.
Professor Víctor de Currea-Lugo published a note a few days ago in Las2Orillas, comparing the peace process and the Final Agreement with a schizophrenia.
The Political Council of the People's Alternative Revolutionary Force - FARC has sent an open letter to President Juan Manuel Santos. Here is the full text:
A national indefinite strike has been agreed by social organisations belonging to Marcha Patriotica to demand full compliance of the Peace Agreement.
We publish the press release sent by Basque political party Sortu on the killings of 6 former FARC-EP guerrillas.
FARC on killings of six former guerrillas at San José de Tapaje
The Political Direction of the Territorial Space for Training and Reincorporation (ETCR) “Aldemar Galán” Policarpa – Nariño” denounced, in a communique, the killing of six former FARC-EP guerrillas, namely:
• José Miller Estupiñan Toloza (Alexis Estupiñan)
• Carlos Sinisterra (Kevin González)
• Edinson Martínez Ordoñez (Carlos “Pescadito” Perea)
• Duber Alberto Obando Vallecilla (Junior Velasquez)
• José Alfredo García Estupiñan (Bruno Suarez)
• Johan (his full name has not been established yet)
According to the communique and based on the information compiled by the ETCR, the six former guerrillas would “have been murdered by a gang led by Robinson Alirio Cuero Obando (Álvaro Galán) y Eliecer García Estupiñan (Marcos Arteaga) among others”.
The communique reports that such a gang had on many occasions been denounced for similar attacks and hostile actions against communities and people working for the establishment of peace with social justice”.
The Political Direction of the ETCR underlines that “such gangs cannot be called ’dissidents’ [of the FARC], as mainstream media quickly and slightly labelled them. If they were indeed dissidents they would be offering a political and ideological struggle - albeit mistaken. Instead they are acting with ruthless violence, not against a State or government but against those who literally are their brothers of blood and community, seeking particular economic benefits”.
Thus, the communique asks a number of questions that need urgent answer: “Who, in the power circles of the State and government, are behind such actions? Who is interested in promote and allow physical elimination of people who have a longstanding tradition of dignified and honourable popular struggle? How can we explain the fact that no one is acting against these gangs despite knowing the names of their leaders and members?”
The communique also reaffirm that the ETCR had “denounced to the Mechanism of Monitoring and Verification the danger and real risk of possible attacks since the time the ETCR was still Temporary Zone of Normalisation.
No measures had been taken and we arrived to the massacre carried out on 15 October. Paraphrasing Gabriel Garcia Marquez - read the statement - we could say what happened in Isupi, San José de Tapaje, Narino, was a tragedy waiting to happen”.
The Political Direction of the ETCR demands “a prompt action by the Government o counter these events and act to prevent them from happening.
Likewise we demand the full implementation of the Havana Agreements so to ensure a real social development”.