By Marco Leon Calarca, member of the Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP
The talks in Havana between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP are coming closer to its objective:
A Final Agreement, allowing us to close the long period of violent confrontation that has ended up in death, dispossession, displacement and an immense pain for the country. To that extent the situation becomes more risky, since the enemies of reconciliation are redoubling their efforts to hinder and lead to failure a national purpose.
The insane actions of military provocations in order to accuse the guerrillas of breaking their peace commitments are threats to the peace process, set up in such a way that they generate media scandals and make it impossible for the parties to find a lasting solution. This situation is well known and preventive measures are being taken.
Another practice is the persistent manipulation of information, sometimes even disguised as an effort to contribute to the process (and this is not about restricting freedom of expression, for we should always remember that it must be based on uncontrolled and sufficient information).
To insist on the absolute responsibility of the guerrilla –besides ignoring the reality evidenced for example in the conclusions of the Historical Commission of the Conflict and its Victims-, is a manipulation aimed at warding off chances of forgiveness and reconciliation.
To declare that the guerrilla has killed, ambushed, kidnapped, burned down or displaced, are tendentious statements, which among others, is precisely what is to be overcome since they constitute acts of war. In many ways the guerrillas accept their responsibilities, stating that its target is not, and has never been, to harm their own people. Yet, nothing is said about the responsibility of the state and its military and paramilitary forces; as we have pointed out: that’s seeing only one side of the issue.
To make matters worse, and as a slanderous way to explain the degradation of war, the media insist on reporting an alleged loss of the insurgency’s political orientation, even pointing out a supposed discontinuity of the noble ideals of the founders of the FARC-EP; what a paradox! They forget that even before the FARC’s uprising, resistance forces were labeled as bandits.
A sly way of presenting things, with half-truths and biased surveys showing little support for peace and highlighting the “infinite mistrust” of people with the FARC. Lies, which are presented as unbeatable obstacles for the peace talks and which won’t take them anywhere. This way, things will remain the same, with huge benefits for those who profit from war: a powerful minority.
The majority of the people are hoping for peace; a majority that identifies with the process and participates in one way or another; suffering the rigors of war and its economic, political, social and cultural consequences; people, who also understand that the problem is not about weapons and much less about the weapons of their insurgent defenders. This majority is intended to be hidden in the name of democracy. This situation is part of what we need to resolve, the ability of the majority to express themselves, to inquire, to speak.
Peace is – and will be- a conquest of the whole of Colombian society, men and women, side-by-side, building it: effort, sweat and surely even tears will be shed in order to finally enjoy the society we deserve.
Joy, celebration and even a party were invented to hide the fiasco of Plan Colombia. What a shame! (Plan Colombia : “15 Years of National Tragedy” | Who Can Boast of the Success of Plan Colombia?)