FARC-EP Condemns Murder of Marcha Patriotica Leader John Jairo Rodriguez Torres

For peace and life, political killings must stop and full democratic guarantees must be implemented”

The Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP rejects the infamous murder of John Jairo Rodriguez Torres, a peasant leader of Caloto (Cauca) and a militant of the movement Marcha Patriotica, occurred on 1 November.

To his family go our sincere condolences. This reprehensible act is part of the humanitarian crisis lived by the Cauca department where social leaders are being systematically threatened and killed by paramilitary groups, while multinational megaprojects are established in the territories despite the opposition of the communities.

This new murder is proof of the slow genocide against Marcha Patriotica and the popular movement carried out by sectors that are enemies of peace. Four years after its foundation, this organization, more than 120 of its leaders have been killed. These killings and other human rights violations create a climate of fear and represent a potential threat to a country that dreams of the end, once and for all, of this violent conflict.

The National Government cannot continue sidestepping its responsibility in the immediate clarification of what happened, because it is its constitutional duty to take effective measures to put an end to all these attacks, threats and stigmatization against the social movements of Cauca and Colombia as a whole. We must stop the bloodshed in our country: immediate protection to all communities, organizations and social leaders at risk of aggression.

We stress the urgent need to implement all measures agreed between the National Government and the FARC EP in the Point relating to Security Guarantees of the Final Agreement, as these are humanitarian commitments whose strict compliance is a duty of the Colombian State and a sine qua non for building a stable and lasting peace. For peace and life, stop political killings and implement full democratic guarantees.