Declaration of the FARC-EP Regarding the Ruling of the Constitutional Court

The announcement of the Constitutional Court ruling declaring the unconstitutionality of the literals (h) and (j) of article 1 of Legislative Act 01 of 2016 for alleged substitution of the Constitution, has put the peace process in the most difficult situation that it has lived since its beginning.

When we were preparing to carry out the process of individual laying down of weapons as established in the Agreement, that is to say twelve days away from D + 180 [D, being the day when the Peace Agreement came into effect, 180 being the days after that], the greatest uncertainty has been sown regarding the disposition and capacity of the State in all its powers to honor the agreements of Havana.

Recommended article for context: “Peace in Colombia receives troubling blow, implementation at risk”

It is not simply about the judicial decision, that by the way trivializes the constitutional substitution judgment with a very controversial interpretation, but we are facing the possibility that –if a majority within the Constitutional Court that is adverse to the implementation [of the peace agreements] is consolidated- , the normative scaffold that develops the agreements could be dismantled. We call on consistent judging and the best judgment to enable the possibility of making peace the supreme right enshrined in the constitutional order that we have accepted to embrace.

The ruling contains the danger of once again renegotiating the agreement in Congress, and why not say, of stimulating the sabotage of its normative development, as it has been the declared by right-wing sectors that have seats in that corporation as their intention and manifestation. In the midst of the known difficulties and differences, we value the position that has been adopted up until this moment by Congress majorities. In addition to the judicious debate and the incorporation of numerous proposals and modifications, the Corporation [Congress] has adopted legislative acts and laws of crucial importance for the implementation of the Agreement.  Although the situation generated by the decision is extremely serious and substantially modifies the conditions of procedure of the laws, our call also goes to that body [Congress] to contribute to a legislative development that remains as faithful to the spirit and letter of the Agreement; this, under the understanding that the celerity in the legislative developments aims to ensure the urgent material implementation of the agreements and thus benefit with actions the entirety of Colombian society.

We also call upon the President of the Republic to assume with full discretion the possibilities granted to him by the Constitution in article 189, numeral 6, in what corresponds to his powers to negotiate and implement peace agreements. Even more so if one considers the Nobel Peace Prize distinction, the permanent support of the entire international community, the United Nations Security Council and the guarantor countries.

We hope that the harmonious collaboration of the public powers, ordered by the Constitution, is a material reality in this case of such historical importance for the present generation and future generations of our country. Peace in Colombia is an obligation of the State as a whole. We are deeply committed to that purpose.

On our part we declare:

  • Our unwavering decision to continue to comply with the agreed as we have been doing so far. There is no need to reiterate that our decision has been to move to legal political life to give continuity to our aspirations, adapting to the Constitutional norms and the law with the agreed reforms. Given the presented situation, the conditions in order for the whole process to take place within the time limits so far established have been changed de facto. We have declared ourselves in permanent assembly in the Transitional Zones [where all FARC-EP troops are grouped] so that the whole of our organization can make the most intelligent decisions in light of this adverse situation.
  • The need to urgently convene the Follow-up, Impulse and Verification of the Peace Agreements Commission (CSIVI for its acronym in Spanish) to deal exclusively with the way forward in what we believe is a substantial difference in terms of the implementation of the agreement. A renewal of the process is urgent.
  • The need to initiate a dialogue with all political and social forces in order to achieve the great national political agreement, as enshrined in the Havana texts, of a commitment to the construction of peace and the implementation of
  • The invitation to all Colombians to express their support for the Agreement in this difficult time with their free expressions and through mobilization.

The signing of the Agreement and its current early implementation has taken us six years to build through the complex path of negotiation. Such collective effort cannot be derailed by judicial decisions. This peace process needs more facts and fewer laws.