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Find here the latest news reports from the peace process, straight from Havana, Cuba. Permanently updated. 
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 12:19

What has been promised and signed must be implemented, President Santos

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The war and violence that have lashed the way of the people since the beginning of time, do not correspond to what many call human nature.

In each one of the historical stages that followed that of the primitive communities, enormous conflicts have erupted from the eagerness of the ones to take to the work and wealth of the others.

Men and women of all ages have converted peace into the supreme good.

They strive to achieve it and do not allowed it to be snatched, because they have learned that after desolation and general suffering there is always an interest that makes big profits, and acts as the main stoker of hatred and provocation. The national experience is exemplary in that regard.

Our longing for peace runs against greed. After more than half a century of struggle and millions of victims, the power of capital and the latifundio grew in geometric proportion, as if the conflict had been a happy business opportunity.

The flag of peace is at the same time a banner of social claim, justice, equality, respect for the humanity of the other.

The Final Agreement put an end to that long war and at the same time opened horizons for the effective participation of the eternally excluded, offered a solution to the most ancient inequities and attention to the real causes of old problems.

It also created conditions for the productive, political and social reincorporation of the guerrillas, within the general framework of respect for the rights of victims.

In addition to being historical, this Agreement became a solemn pact between the Colombian State and the FARC-EP guerrillas. Not only because the Constitutional Court made its the guidelines for its endorsement, which was positive by overwhelming majority in the Congress of the Republic, but because the international community recognized, applauded and incorporated as its the peace signed in Colombia, and committed to work hard to guarantee it.

Today, Mr. Henry Acosta, facilitator of the peace talks, gives a wide-ranging account of his distress for what he calls the total Non-implementation of the Peace Agreement. The pathetic and pessimistic tone that inspires him is evident.

We differ from him in that we are revolutionaries, we will not burst into tears at the spilled milk. We will fight endlessly for the fulfillment of the official word.

This is the fair thing to do.

It is worth recalling that both parties celebrated on May 29 the so-called Agreement on a Road Map for the fulfillment of the obligations derived from the Final Agreement, in which, among other obligations, is included that of providing minimum guarantees that the National Government was required to make effective for the FARC -EP before the culmination of the abandonment of arms. To this day this has yet to be fulfilled.

I highlighted among other obligations: "The National Government will take the necessary measures to ensure that members of the FARC-EP who are on the OACP accredited lists leave prison and / or remain on parole before the completion of the abandonment of arms". (1.1.1.)

“Throughout the national territory of all arrest warrants of members of the FARC-EP from the moment they had left their weapons and had been accredited by the OACP will be suspended” (1.1.2).

Granting of amnesty de iure via presidential resolution to all members of duly accredited militias”.(1.1.4)

"JEP Statutory Law. In the text filed in Congress will be introduced a rule on the suspension of all sentences against members of the FARC-EP or persons accused of being members, as established in AL 001 of 2017 (...)

The National Government undertakes that the Statutory Law of the JEP will be approved by Congress respecting the Final Agreement and the draft text approved by the National Government and the FARC-EP. " (1.1.6).

"Suspension of arrest warrants for the purpose of extradition and revocation of assurance measures in all extradition proceedings with respect to persons accredited by the OACP, pursuant to AL 001 of 2017, dated June 10, 2017". (1.1.9)

"The constitutional reforms necessary to guarantee the operation of the Special Investigation Unit referred to in point number 74 of the JEP agreement, in accordance with the provisions of the Final Agreement, shall be carried out." (1.2.1.)

"Within a period of no more than 15 days, the National Government will appoint the deputy director of the Special Branch for Security and Protection of the National Protection Unit (UNP)." (1.2.4.) ...

"The Elite Corps of the National Police shall be set up, in accordance with the terms of the Final Agreement, by June 15, 2017 at the latest." (1.2.5).

"Between the end of the individual abandonment of arms that will conclude on June 20, 2017 and the issue of the presidential amnesty de iure for those members of the FARC-EP that have left their personal arm, there cannot be more than 10 days”. (1.4 par. 3)

The FARC-EP, as it is their costume, have respected the terms of the abandonment of arms. What then explains the official laziness to honor the word given?

Optimistic is the facilitator when he states that the National Government promotes individual reincorporation, delivering 8 million [Colombian pesos] to each former guerrilla. There is not a single combatant in these conditions, nor a single collective project approved to date.

The elemental allotment of land is denied so that productive projects can be advanced, and it is stated that only an average of one thousand individual projects will be approved per year.

Thousands of former guerrillas are excluded from the single allocation of two million pesos and are not receiving the monthly benefit of ninety percent of minimum wage. Territorial Areas of Training and Reincorporation are notified that they will be left without basic food or services. Our people go through the most incredible difficulties to have access to health services.

Our people remain deprived of their freedom, die or get ill in prison due to State indolence. We move around fearing of being arrested because the President has yet to issue the amnesty de iure, despite the fact that the ten days maximum time has already passed ten times, and the system still does not show the lifting of arrest warrants.

The Congress of the Republic is involved in the issuing of the rules on political participation and Special Jurisdiction for Peace, while the Attorney General of the Nation is engaged on a smear campaign against the FARC, and suspiciously ignores the more than fifteen thousand files regarding paramilitarism piled up and awaiting his action.

The smell of decay filling the air after the scandal of Dr. Martinez's anti-corruption tsar leaves much to think about.

The hungry jaws of the ultra-right enemy of peace are now joined by the American ambassador. Everybody hoped that the call for reconciliation made by Pope Francisco, who sowed so much sympathy and hope in the heart of the Colombians, would succeed against the revenge feelings of the lords of war and their greed. Unfortunately their hatred continues.

The great FARC family feels unease and indignant. Thousands of fighters, militiamen, clandestine supporters, political militants, followers and communities who believed in good faith in the seriousness of the Colombian State, call this leadership to express a strong position.

The military discipline of war was always a pledge of subordination. With this gone we are left with our ability of persuasion. For this, facts are needed, President Santos.

Colombia finds itself at a historical crossroad. It finds itself debating between the paths of peace, democracy and social justice outlined by the Havana Agreements, and the possibility of sinking in the wake of violence as a result of its violation and non-fulfillment.

We call on the international community, the United Nations, the European Union, CELAC, UNASUR, the Vatican, countries that have been guarantors and have accompanied the process to act and make the great work of peace staying afloat.

We Colombians cannot remain passive at this grave juncture. Generations that have not known a day of peace are obliged to leave their children a country without terror or war, a true homeland.

A minority enriched with the revenues of death and fear tries to make reconciliation impossible, we must all prevent this from happening.

What has been promised and signed must be implemented, President Santos.

This is the time of peace, the whole world is claiming it.

Timoleón Jiménez

La Habana, September 25, 2017.

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