Colombia: Peace Agreement Implementation at Risk Due to Paramilitary Attacks

Prensa Rural
Translated by FARC-EP

After the killings of FARC-EP members, paramilitaries systematically continue to kill their relatives. Marcos Calarcá, a representative of the guerrilla to the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MM & V), referred to Noticias Uno that “it is not a sporadic event, it is a plan; no one can develop those kind of operations of national impact without an organizational framework behind it”.

In the same way, Calarcá said that although paramilitaries change their name they are still the same ones that want to annihilate social movements and all those who are committed to peace.

Also read: Another rampage against relatives of FARC-EP guerrillas

Despite this situation, the National Government persists in the non-recognition of these groups as paramilitaries or successors of the “self-defense” groups. In this regard, the Office of the Attorney General says that these groups have no connectivity, nor a counterinsurgency drive; once again managing the thesis that these actions are isolated and don’t obey to a general plan.

Diverse social organizations and human rights defenders have denounced this situation and drawn attention to the paramilitary attacks against all those who defend the implementation of the peace agreements.

Also read: PFC statement on killings of FARC members and their relatives

Despite the fact that these denounces have been made at all levels, the murders still continue and this wave of violence has not been stopped, which at first attacked social leaders who advocated for peace and now attacks ex-combatants and their families.

On top of all of this, paramilitaries are increasingly closer to the Transitional Zones where insurgents are grouped as reported by the FARC-EP to the National Government and to Monitoring and Verification Mechanism.

The ex-combatants are worried, because in areas where the army and State institutions should be present, paramilitary armed groups are intimidating the communities where the insurgency was previously present. With lists in hand, pamphlets, forced displacements, murders and patrols, these groups are against the implementation of the peace agreements.

Also read: Despite Peace discourse, government keeps silence on assassinations of social leaders

Particular cases have occurred near the Transitional Zone Juan Carlos Castañeda, located in the Carrizal, Antioquia, where intimidating messages and graffiti have appeared on the part of the AUG (Gaitanista Self-Defenses), one of the many tentacles of the Gulf Clan who act and are heirs of the AUC (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia).

Both social organizations and the FARC-EP demand compliance with point 3.4 of the Final Peace Agreement signed by the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP in November 2016, that says:

“Agreement on security guarantees and fight against organizations and criminal conduct responsible for homicides and massacres that attempt against human rights defenders, social movements or political movements or that threaten or attack those who participate in the implementation of the Agreements and peace-building, including criminal organizations that have been denominated as successors of paramilitaries and their support networks”

For this reason, these Colombian citizens demand to the National Government for the country to not repeat the events that occurred with the Union Patriótica (Patriotic Union), which was a political party that was systematically annihilated under the glance and complicity of the State as recognized by the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos in 2016.

Also read: Patriotic Union: A political genocide

FARC-EP Denounces Paramilitary Presence in Transitional Zones

We inform to the public and at the same time denounce before the international community who serves as guarantor of the implementation and compliance of the Havana Agreements, the presence of a paramilitary group in events that occurred as follows:

On 28 April in the early hours of the night a paramilitary group was present at the El Rincón town, of the El Rosario-Nariño municipality. Simultaneously they arrived and positioned themselves in the edge of the route that leads from El Rincon to Bella Esperanza rural settlement of the municipality of Policarpa, which is the limit of the demarcation of this Transitional Zone [where FARC-EP troops are grouped in compliance with the peace agreement and developing their reincorporation process]. They repeatedly shot their rifles. They identify themselves as the RAUC, and threaten to assassinate all FARC collaborators and carry out a “social cleansing” operation. They are fully uniformed with garments exclusively used by Colombian military forces and carry new and shiny Galil rifles.

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All the walls have been painted with the acronym RAUC, just like the cars of all kinds of objects that this group comes across with.

This occurred at the very limits of this Local Transitional Zone for Normalization (ZVTN). The blatant appearance and permanence of this group at sight of everyone near our location without receiving immediate persecution on part of the public force creates doubts that would be good to clear out in time. This inactivity against this paramilitary group is bordered with complicity, a worrying situation because it is the State itself the one expected to make the greatest contribution to the solid construction of peace.

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Both the communities affected by this situation, and the people who are in the process of joining the legal life of the country, demand from the State and from the government a real will for peace, with zero permissiveness in light of the actions of these groups, and a timely implementation of the agreements on social matters and that benefit all the Colombian people.

Our commitment is with the foundation of peaceful coexistence and the construction of peace with social justice!

Directive Command, FARC-EP, Transitional Zone “Aldemar Galán” Alto La Paloma – Betania Policarpa, Nariño.

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