At the end of March, the FARC-EP´s Leadership Command in the Transitional Zone "Amaury Rodríguez" of Pondores at the municipality of Fonseca in Guajira sent a letter to the 15 mayors of that department with the purpose of proposing the realization of some joint actions framed in the idea of working for the implementation of the Havana Agreements.
The letter, elaborated with the best spirit of uniting efforts for what is derived from the implementation of the Peace Agreement ended with the respectful invitation to a meeting in the Transitional Zone on April 6 or on a date convenient to the recipients, given that the department of La Guajira -within the criteria contained in the PDET*- is one of the prioritized territories.
For the sake of discussion we could accept that it was a concise document, which perhaps required a broader and cordial explanation on the raised issues. We understand that the responsibilities of local officials involve very strict agendas, and that their variation due to sudden invitations can give rise to difficulties in their patriotic function.
But another thing is the dimension that some officials and sectors from the local and national press decided to attribute to it, who preferred to interpret the letter as an outburst and unnecessary pressure, arguing that the FARC has not yet disarmed. Examples of this are the statements given by the Governor of La Guajira, Wilder Guerra Curvelo.
To him, this is an inadmissible, illegitimate and tremendously arbitrary action, because in his opinion the mayors are called to be held accountable, as in the worst days of armed conflict. There were similar expressions on part of some political sectors that are characterized by their sick hatred to the materialization of the Havana Agreements.
Among all the declarations that came up, I would like to point out those pronounced by Dr. Sergio Jaramillo, the High Commissioner for Peace due their significance and because of the repetitive nature of his attitude:
"... this can be considered as a violation of the ceasefire because the FARC have not finished disarming and it is a pressure on society, it is a disturbance of the order in the region and the agreement clearly states its prohibition"
"Anyone can feel [the invitation to the meeting] as a form of pressure and the agreement says that any pressure on society or on authorities is a violation to the ceasefire."
"... if the FARC wants to do politics, if they want to dialogue in this way with the institutions, they must accelerate the process of decommissioning of weapons because they have not finished their disarming"
The High Commissioner for Peace knows the Agreements perfectly because from the beginning of the talks up until the final signing he remained at the Negotiation Table, expressing his points of view and those of the National Government. His signature appears in each of the formal copies. In addition he has assumed –though not always with the same consistency- the rigorous exercise of exposing and interpreting the peace agreements.
He is well aware that the Transitional Zones and Points for Normalization were not conceived -and this was contemplated in the Bilateral Ceasefire Agreements and Protocols- as ghettos in which the FARC guerrillas group in their transit to civilian life in which they are supposed to remain completely isolated from society and without any contact with the outside world.
That is why the construction of reception areas within these Transitional Zones was agreed, where any person or official could go and talk to the FARC in the spirit of the agreements or even for personal reasons, as is the case with the relatives and friends of the guerrillas. That is why these reception areas were included as common areas whose termination [in terms of their construction] was privileged in the Cartagena conclave*.
He also knows -because he was one of its promoters- that in the point on Comprehensive Rural Reform of the Peace Agreements, the Development Programs with Territorial Approach (PDET) were agreed, which are to cover the totality of rural areas of the country, in which the most helpless and urgent areas are to be prioritized in terms of the implementation with greater speed and resources from the national plans that are to be created under the Agreement.
The agreement says that in order to meet its objectives "it is necessary to elaborate in each participatory area a plan of action for regional transformation, including all levels of territorial organization, agreed with local authorities and communities." Therefore, the unhelpful tantrum of Dr. Jaramillo is incomprehensible.
I am sure that our colleagues at the “Amaury Rodríguez” Transitional Point of Normalization of Pondores acted in the spirit of the agreed, and were naturally encouraged by the urgent need to make the Agreements known to local officials, something which clearly the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace does not do.
A few days ago, the Fifth Monthly Report of the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism was released, which reports the country's compliance with the Agreement by the parties and possible violations of the ceasefire during the period from March 7 to April 7. This organism -authorized by the Agreements- does not think the same as the High Commissioner.
It would be convenient for this official to personally take care of and look out for the repeated non-compliance on part of the State, which has been officially indicated by the only mechanism legitimized to do this, instead of going out making frequent shows in open violation of the agreement with the high government on the way and mechanisms to address the differences that present themselves during the implementation.
From what he expressed not only in this occasion but also on similar ones, it seems that his only desire lies in the complete decommissioning of weapons of the FARC, with indifference regarding the respect to other commitments agreed upon. If that is his concern, he should be satisfied with the official report of the MM&V [Monitoring and Verification Mechanism], which is very clear with regard to our strict compliance.
On social networks there is currently a video being show in which a shameless person longs for the times of Carlos Castaño [a paramilitary leader] and openly announces the beginning of an urban war that aims to exterminate Colombians that are committed to the Peace Agreements, including even the President of the Republic in these threats without the least reluctance and in a manifestation of the fascist delirium of the ultra-right.
It’s reasonable to wonder if the High Commissioner for Peace is aware of the way in which he with his irresponsible declarations contribute to incite and nourish the irrational hatred of sectors willing to drown the country in another interminable sea of blood, just when victimized, decent, democratic, and dignified Colombia insists on forever burying such intolerant dementia.
La Havana, April 12, 2017
*PDET: “Development Programs with Territorial Approach”, this is contained in the Peace Agreements signed by the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP and their objective is to provide the implementation of a series of reforms, programs and public policies to the most affected regions of the armed conflict in order to provide the economic, social and living conditions to these regions that contribute to guarantee the rights of its inhabitants and the socio-economic conditions for their development.
*Cartagena conclave: On the 25th and 26th of March of this year, 100 days after the beginning of the implementation of the Peace Agreements, FARC-EP and Colombian Government met in the city of Cartagena to make a balance of what has been of the implementation of the agreements and came to a series of mutual agreements for its further implementation highlighting the need for the Government to put its part in finishing with the construction of Transitional Local Zones and Points for Normalization where FARC-EP troops are currently grouped.