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Thread: Joint Communiqué #80 Revision of the Pending Points Political Participation

  1. #101
    The High Commissioner for Peace, once again
    Written by Timoleón Jiménez

    Is he aware that the way in which he presents his statements fuels the irrational hatred of sectors willing to drown the country in another sea of blood?

    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.

    The disarmament is looking more and more unwise.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  2. #102
    Cura denounces paramilitary presence in northwestern Colombia

    The religious details that this circumstance affects more than 400 peasants who live in San José de Apartadó and its Villages of Peace. | Photo: Sputnik Nóvosti
    Published 26 April 2017 (3 hours 48 minutes ago)

    Father Javier Giraldo Moreno is concerned that the Colombian government is unaware of the paramilitary presence in rural areas of the country since the withdrawal of FARC-EP to the surrounding areas.

    Jesuit priest Javier Giraldo Moreno denounced the presence of paramilitaries in the rural area of ​​the municipality of Apartadó, in Urabá, department of Antioquia, Colombia.

    The priest said that this group was consolidated in recent months as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army (FARC-EP) left the territory to the veredales zones.

    Father Giraldo, who is a researcher at the Center for Research and Popular Education (Cinep), compiled the history of this community in the book Fusil or toga toga and rifle.

    Among the most recent events in the area highlights the meddling in the middle Mulatos village of 30 armed men in the procession of Good Friday on April 14 and the report of rape of a 13-year-old girl in the village of La Hoz in San José de Apartadó at the end of January.

    Father Giraldo said that in the last five months paramilitaries consolidated their presence in a wide territory, between the municipalities of Apartadó, Turbo, and Carepa, in Antioquia; And Tierralta, in Cordoba.

    It shows that about 500 men of the group that calls itself Self-defense Gaitanistas de Colombia constantly patrol the region. These paramilitaries also built a road that runs from the village of Rodoxali in Apartadó to Nueva Antioquia, Turbo, he said.

    Father Giraldo says to draw attention to the ignorance on the part of the authorities on this road.

    According to the priest, this circumstance affects more than 400 peasants who live in the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó and its Villages of Peace. The cleric invites the people of Urabá to be consistent with peace, and not admit any armed group.

    Google Translator
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  3. #103
    Father Javier Giraldo Moreno is concerned that the Colombian government is unaware of the paramilitary presence in rural areas of the country since the withdrawal of FARC-EP to the surrounding areas.
    The Colombian government knows. Their naive, play-stupid act is from orders direct from US. Someone better guard that priest, he'll he filling a hole by month's end.
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  4. #104
    New massacre against relatives of FARC-EP guerrilla
    Written by Staff of the FARC-EP

    New massacre against relatives of FARC-EP guerrilla

    The General Staff of the FARC-EP is allowed to report to national and international public opinion the following events against members of our organization:

    1. On April 24, 2017, being approximately 8:30 pm in Taraza - Antioquia neighborhood of Maria Gaín, the bodies of: Kellys Henao, 20 years old, Alberto Osorio, 33 years old, and the youngest Marcela Osorio 14, who were brutally massacred inside their home. All of them are family members of Guillermo León Osorio, member of the FARC-EP who is located in a Transitional Verification Zone of Normalization "Juan Carlos Castañeda".

    2. So far relatives surviving from these terrible events state that the perpetrators are suspected members of paramilitary groups operating in the area, who said that "until they finished killing all that family did not stop."

    3. This case was brought to the notice of the monitoring and follow-up mechanisms provided in the Final Peace Agreement to the competent authorities in order to provide security measures to relatives and known survivors. The authorities said that "they can not provide security to families because there is no budget on the part of the Taraza Police and that it can only do the lifting of the bodies and no more."

    4. Even the family moments of Willson Adrian Tapias, a member of the FARC-EP in the Veredal Zone in Carrizal and survivors continue in Taraza receiving threats by these groups, not having the appropriate and due protection by the National and Departmental Government. Consequently, the measures of persecution and investigation have not been carried out in order to prosecute the material authors and determiners of these behaviors.

    5. The previous events were preceded by the circulation of threatening leaflets in the municipality of Taraza according to information provided by relatives and surviving neighbors, in which the members of the FARC-EP and their families were mentioned and threatened.


    1. On November 24, 2016, the National Government and the FARC-EP guerrilla group signed the Final Agreement for the Ending of Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Lasting Peace.

    2. That in point 3.4 of the Final Agreement there exists a duty on the part of the Colombian State to provide full guarantees of security and fight against the organizations and conducts caused by the organizations considered as successors of Paramilitarism.

    3. That until now the Colombian State, despite the need for an autonomous and independent body to investigate the serious crimes committed by paramilitary organizations, has not implemented the Special Investigation Unit for the dismantling of responsible criminal organizations and conduct Of homicides and massacres that attack human rights defenders, social movements or political movements, or that threaten or threaten the people involved in the implementation of the agreements, among others.

    4. In the last weeks, the brothers Dalmiro Cárdenas and Anselmo Cárdenas, brothers of the guerrilla of the Farc Robinson Victorio, have been kidnapped, tortured and beheaded by paramilitary groups operating in the Chocho, in the Chiquinquirá Prison. These events were preceded by the assassination in the Department of Nariño of Luis Alberto Ortiz, an active member of the FARC-EP and beneficiary of the Amnesty Law, who once recovered his freedom was attacked with a firearm, which caused him immediate death.


    1. The rights to life and physical integrity of the surviving relatives and victims in the Municipality of Taraza are urgently and immediately guaranteed and continue without any protection by the national and departmental authorities.

    2. The General Prosecutor's Office and the other competent authorities should investigate in an efficient, prompt and impartial manner these serious facts that give account of the occurrence of a massacre.

    3. The Ombudsman's Office, the Attorney General's Office, Personería and other relevant entities, verify the facts described and promote the requests for guarantees and protection of the rights of the victims affected.

    4. To the monitoring, verification and monitoring bodies provided for in the Final Agreement, in a special way to the United Nations Organization to investigate within the framework established for that purpose in the Final Agreement, since these constitute a Serious affection to the Cease-fire, Bilateral and Definitive signed between the National Government and the Guerrilla of the FARC-EP.

    5. The National Government to implement urgently the mechanisms of guarantees, protection and security provided in the Final Peace Agreement.

    We invite social organizations and human rights defenders, living forces of civil society, the various political and economic sectors to develop the broadest pact that mobilizes us in defense of the lives of all Colombians.

    When is 'enough' enough?
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  5. #105
    Public denounce: Paramilitary presence in Transitional Zone limits

    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.

    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.

    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.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  6. #106
    UN Delegate Kidnapped as Security Council Arrives in Colombia

    FARC guerrilla commander Pedro (R) walks with members of the U.N. Observation Mission during thier visit at the Front 34 Alberto Martinez encampment. | Photo: AFP

    Published 4 May 2017 (3 hours 14 minutes ago)

    While Colombia has officially reached peace, implementing the accords and preventing ongoing violence remains a major challenge.
    Representatives from the United Nations Security Council arrived in Colombia on Wednesday night to support and oversee the country’s implementation of the peace accords with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Their arrival comes amid concerns over the killing of human rights leaders and the confirmation of a U.N. representative being kidnapped by a FARC splinter group.

    The 15 members of the Security Council were in Bogota and and set to meet privately with Colombian President Manuel Santos and his government, lawmakers and civil society representatives on Thursday morning.

    On Thursday afternoon, the Council will then meet with civil society members including, NGOs, women’s organizations, the Tripartite Monitoring and Verification Mechanism and the Monitoring, Impulse and Verification Commission. On Friday the Security Council Members are due to meet with FARC representatives and visit a FARC transition camp where rebels are disarming.

    “The Council believes that it is timely to express its support and at the same time to make contact with all parties in the process, in order to see how the United Nations is helping and can continue to do so,” said Uruguay's U.N. ambassador, Elbio Rosselli, who is who is a co-leader on the visit.

    Jean Arnault, head of the United Nations Mission in Colombia said that the visit would be an opportunity for the Council to understand the process first hand, where “Colombia remains by far the most encouraging process on the Council’s agenda.”

    But as the Council headed into meeting on Thursday, Colombian authorities confirmed that a U.N. official had been kidnapped by a group of dissident FARC rebels on Wednesday afternoon. Arley Lopez, a Colombian national working as a delegate with the U.N. monitoring and verification mission, was kidnapped in municipality of Miraflores, in the south-central department of Guaviare, a major cocoa growing region known for having a number of FARC fronts refusing to demobilize.

    The delegate was reportedly in the area meeting with locals about coca crop substitution programs but was intercepted by a group of armed men in vehicles while driving back to the town of Miraflores.

    Colombia’s senior advisor on post-conflict issues, Rafael Pardo, said that authorities believed the delegate was expected to be released around midday Thursday, labeling the kidnapping as “absolutely unacceptable.”

    The Colombian military estimates that there are around 300 FARC rebels who have refused to lay down their arms and Ivan Mordisco has been touted as a major commander leading dissident fighters. Some 7,000 rebels have moved to transition zones to surrender their weapons and reintegrate into civilian life.

    In January 2016, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution for the U.N. mission in Colombia to help monitor and verify the laying down of FARC arms and to verify the bilateral ceasefire between the rebels and the Colombian government.

    On Thursday, the mission said that 1,000 weapons surrendered by FARC rebels will be collected and stored in containers. The handing over of weapons and implementing disarmament zones has been a slow and bumpy process. The U.N. has reported that around half the disarmament camps, originally due to be vacated by the end of May, have not even been finished.

    Because of poor conditions in camps, the FARC had asked the deadline for weapons surrender to be pushed back, further complicated by the fact that the FARC never kept accurate records of their weapons, making it difficult to determine how quotas would be met.

    The U.N. mission has repeatedly voiced its concern that the Colombian government needs to better implement parts of the peace deal and prevent an upsurge in peacetime violence. The government, however, has accused the mission of not knowing the real situation on the ground.

    In particular, the U.N. has expressed concern over the ongoing killing of human rights leaders and those living in rural areas who have been targeted by right-wing paramilitary groups who continue to swoop in on territory left open as FARC troops demobilize.

    On Monday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein confirmed that 41 Colombian political activists were assassinated in the first four months of 2017. Colombian Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo, however, claimed that only 14 social movement leaders have been killed so far.


    Colombia Chiquita Brands Paid Armed Groups for Defense: Report

    Members of the right-wing paramilitary group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia raise their weapons in the air near Colombia's border with Venezuela in 2001. | Photo: AFP

    Published 3 May 2017

    Payments were made to vying armed groups so that Chiquita workers would not risk the threat of being killed or kidnapped.
    For years, Chiquita Brands International’s Colombia-based offices paid money to armed groups to guarantee that their personnel and facilities would not be harmed during the country's civil war, according to a new report by Verdad Abierta and the National Security Archive.

    The armed groups, according to the report, include paramilitaries, the Colombian Army and leftist guerillas.

    Recently-declassified documents released by both organizations reveal how staff from the renowned banana company had long questioned the company's payments to the aforementioned groups, asking whether Chiquita had gone beyond extortion in its efforts to operate in Colombia. Top company executives were deemed as becoming “comfortable” with the idea and practice of paying off armed groups.

    A seven-year-long legal battle undertaken by the National Security Archive against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and, eventually, Chiquita, has resulted in the Chiquita Papers, tens of thousands declassified records outlining how the company engaged in illicit payments during Colombia's civil war.

    The documents enabled the group to identify Chiquita executives who oversaw and authorized payments.

    Jorge Forton, a Peruvian accountant and chief financial officer for Banadex, Chiquita's wholly-owned subsidiary in Colombia, confessed that payments were being made that were “impossible to audit” and that Chiquita officials were becoming “comfortable” with such payments.

    During his deposition to the SEC, Forton pondered, “We are funding their activities, or we are protecting ourselves. It's questionable.”

    Two of the names from Chiquita's Security Department who handled the illegal payments were John Stabler and Juan Manuel Alvarado. One of the main intermediaries used to link the company with armed groups was Rene Alejandro Osorio J., a key bridge between Chiquita's Colombia operations, and John Ordman, a company official, who described the payments as “a leap of faith.”

    Forton, according to Verdad Abierta, was always aware of the “sensitive payments.” They were made so that Chiquita workers did not have to face the threat of being killed or kidnapped and to make sure its plantations would not be set ablaze.

    Though cognizant of Chiquita's camouflaged payment system, Forton told the SEC that he was “not comfortable” with such payments: “How do I feel those payments are really going to those groups? I mean, how can I audit that? I cannot ask them to sign a receipt,” he said.

    Videos at both links.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  7. #107
    A Dark Labyrinth in the Transitional Zones

    Gabriel Angel

    In these days three girls deserted from the Transitional Zone of Normalization Héroes de Marquetalia, located south of Tolima, near the place where the FARC was born 53 years ago.

    Their names de guerre were Paula, Monica and Maira. The curious thing is that the three went to present themselves to the military base of Planadas, the nearest municipality.

    That the deserter guerrillas were indeed in that base was known for information provided by the government delegates of the Local Monitoring and Verification Mechanism. Nevertheless, these people objected to this fact being recorded in the routine report that the Mechanism daily elaborates for its superior instance.

    Colonel Martinez, of the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism, far from the site of the desertions, promptly told Jeferson, our delegate in that instance, that three girls had deserted from the area and had reported themselves at the Planadas base. At the time of his comment it was very doubtful whether the deserters had arrived there.
 From what was said by the official delegates in the two mechanisms of monitoring and verification, it can be deduced that, before the actual arrival took place, they already knew that the deserters would go to the aforementioned base.

    The comrades of the area leadership decided to invite the father of Paula, one of the deserters, an inhabitant of the region, to inform him of the fact. 
Servando, as the gentleman is called, arrived at the Transitional Zone in the company of the president and vice president of the Community Action Board where he lives.

    From the conversation with him it was concluded that he would approach that military base in order to find out about the situation of his daughter. It was agreed that he would invite the corregidor and the parish priest of Gaitania to go along with him, so he would not go alone.
At the base they were attended by one Major Méndez, who with his attitude gave them to understand that he already knew the reason of their visit.

    He informed them that the three girls had actually arrived early but that they were no longer there but had been transferred to Ibague. Servando, very worried, asked for information on how to contact them.
 The Major marked in his presence several numbers on his telephone, without obtaining any answer from the other side. In the end he assured that the best thing was that they presented themselves to Ibagué in person.

    This generated distrust as in the local monitoring mechanism some soldiers ventured that the girls were to be in Chaparral. It all sounded strange.
A good source had said that at eight o'clock in the morning the deserters were at the base. Not enough time had passed for them to be in Chaparral or Ibagué.

    Servando later received a call on his telephone. On the other side a male voice told him that he was going to put on the phone someone who he would be happy to hear. He then heard his daughter's voice.

    The girl quickly told her father that she was well. And that later she would call again, because for now she could not make calls. As soon as he hung up, Servando saw the number 320 8498580 in the call log, and he called back.

    The person who answered said hello to him calling him by his name, he said to be called Mario and added that he would call him back when he was with his daughter.
 Servando called the Ombudsman's Office in Ibagué and reported what was happening to him. He also made arrangements to meet with the UN human rights delegate in order to inform and obtain help.

    When finally the meeting of the United Nations official with Servando took place, the attitude of the latter disconcerted them all.
He had simply come forward to say that he was not going to disturb any more, that he was not going to look for his daughter or anything else, because he had received a call from her and she had told him that if he really loved her, he would not look for her anymore.

    Apart from his decision not to do anything else, it was obvious that the preoccupation he had shown the day before had disappeared.
The previous story, completely true, resembles the script of a series of those stories that the National Army presented on television in order to discredit the FARC.

    Several indications indicate that at least a couple of the boys living in the Transitional Zone Heroes of Marquetalia are in telephone communication with the military intelligence services.
There must be a cat trapped there, as people say. To the above may be added another fact that is very suspicious.

    A week ago in Gaitania leaflets appeared with the signature of the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, which warn the population that they have in mind to carry out a cleaning operation in the area. 

    At 18:30 hours of yesterday, May 3, a citizen of Gaitania was seriously injured after receiving several shots from an unknown aggressor. The aggressor, a tall, thin man dressed in black, according to witnesses who followed him after the shooting, flew through a coffee plantation in the direction of the military base located in Tolú, a place of Gaitania.

    To the surprise of the direction of the Transitional Zone Heroes de Marquetalia, that is located about twenty minutes from Gaitania, the government members of the Local Monitoring and Verification Mechanism maintained that the attacker fled towards the Transitional Zone and demanded that a police patrol be allowed to enter the area in search of the gunman.

    If we evaluate the above facts, it is obvious that there is a predetermined interest to weaken the environment around this Transitional Zone. We remember now that a national media published a few days ago the audios in which from Battalion 21 Vargas in Grenada, Meta, Army personnel promoted the desertion of the guerrilla units.

    Since the conclave realized in Cartagena in late March, the FARC brought to the attention of President Juan Manuel Santos this type of maneuver, incomprehensible in the light of the Agreements signed for the Termination of the Conflict and the ongoing bilateral and definitive ceasefire and cessation hostilities between the FARC and the Colombian State.

    We are witness of the President's rejection of this type of actions, as well as of his willingness to immediately address a practice that reveals the buried interest of some military commanders in putting obstacles to the ongoing peace process.

    Why the commitment to encourage desertions with promises of money when the end of the conflict is agreed?
    Through media and social networks we can recognized the irrational offensive of the ultra-right sectors, enemies of the Havana Agreements and of peace and reconciliation for Colombia, against the process of abandoning arms and reincorporating the FARC into legal policy.

    We have no doubt that these sectors are behind such dark events as those described.

    A last-minute incident again draws attention to what has been said. In the morning of today, May 4th, a truck, with driver and assistant, showed up to leave logistic material in the Transitional Zone Heroes of Marquetalia.

    The appearance of the assistant caught the attention of the commanders of the guerrilla, who proceeded to politely question him.

    It turned out he was a plainclothes policeman, Jorge Rivera, patrolman attached to the district 2 of Campo Alegre, Huila, substation Silvania, whose commander is Sergeant Edier Bermeo Chavarro. He has been seven years in the Police and was carrying the C.C. 1113306907 of Sevilla, Valley.

    The boys took a picture of him before he returned in the truck.

    What was his mission and why? What does this mean?

    It means trust fascist to behave as fascist. Look to your comrades and your arms.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  8. #108
    Colombia Police Attack Strikers in Choco Protesting Poverty

    Choco residents in 2016 held a civil strike demanding better health. care, education, safety and transportation | Photo: Tiwitter / @XimenaCanal

    Published 10 May 2017

    Clashes erupted between the police force, ESMAD, and the people of Choco.
    Wednesday saw a general strike in the Colombian department of Choco. Political commitments made by the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, like investments in health, education and roads, have gone unfulfilled and the people have not swayed from their demands.

    Clashes erupted between the police force, ESMAD, and the people of Choco. According to Semana, a member of the civil defense force was injured and had to be taken to a hospital.

    "The police are firing tear gas. People are throwing rocks. Everyone is running," one reporter said in a video, Semana reported.

    A public transportation driver from Quibdo said, "The transportation union is committed to Choco's struggle and we'll remain faithful to the strike and our demands until the end. Since yesterday (Wednesday) the public transportation in the department has been suspended."

    Meanwhile, negotiations between the leaders of the Civic Committee for the Salvation and Dignity of Choco and the Colombian government, headed by Ministry of the Interior Guillermo Rivera, are underway.

    At the end of the meeting, Rivera assured that he could not divulge any information. However, he said that the government is committed to making important investments in the department.


    Choco, Colombia’s Poorest Region, Calls for Civil Strike
    Published 9 May 2017

    Organizers of Wednesday's strike argue that the Colombian government hasn't met commitments made to Choco residents following a strike held last year.
    Colombia's Ombudsman Carlos Alfonso Negret convened an extraordinary meeting with high government officials Tuesday to analyze and propose solutions to ongoing humanitarian crises in the country’s Choco department.

    The meeting comes as residents of the northern Colombian department have called for a civil strike on Wednesday in protest against rampant poverty and violence.

    Organizers of Wednesday's strike have argued that the Colombian government hasn't met 2 percent of the commitments made to Choco residents following a strike held last year. These commitments include improvements in the areas of health, education, safety and transportation.

    Dilon Martinez, spokesperson for the Civic Committee for the Salvation and Dignity of Choco, insisted that the government has largely ignored the needs of the people in the region.

    “The overwhelming majority of our petitions that the government agreed to implement have not been implemented,” Martinez told Caracol.

    Residents are also demanding greater security from the proliferation of right-wing paramilitary groups propping up in the area.

    Choco, home to large Black and Indigenous communities, is currently the poorest department in Colombia. Some 65.9 percent of Choco’s population now live below the poverty line, according to Colombia Reports. Apart from economic and social crises, there's also the plight of those dislocated from their homes, kidnappings, death threats and homicides.

    According to a 2014 report commissioned by Negret’s office, 36 percent of the children in Choco did not have a healthy size for their age and their weight. The report also found that child mortality was higher than the average rate in the rest of the country.

    Nothing has changed since the report's release.

    “We hope that all government ministry representatives participate in order to respond to the necessities of the people of Choco,” Negret said, according to Caracol.

    “Tomorrow begins a civil strike to demand greater attention for the state.”
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  9. #109
    Peace in Colombia receives troubling blow, implementation at risk

    The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army and the Colombian Government developed a peace process that has lasted since 2012 and reached a Final Agreement on November last year, giving an end to a war that has lasted over 50 years.

    These agreements are to be implemented with laws, public policies and programs through the institutional framework of the country. In order to carry out this task and to implement and incorporate into the legal system the most urgent, necessary and basic laws to begin the implementation, a “Fast Track” legislative procedure was created, in which laws are passed to Congress for their discussion and approval.

    In order to maintain the spirit and core aspects of the Final Agreement, these laws can only be modified while passing through Congress if these changes are consistent with the agreement and are approved by the Government Administration; also, these laws are to be voted as a whole by Congress. For example, regarding the Amnesty Law, Congress had to approve the law itself as a whole instead of article by article.

    As of the moment it is calculated that only about 12% of the required laws and decrees for the incorporation of the Peace Agreement to the Colombian legal system and institutional framework have been approved. The rest are still pending, and time is ticking since this special “Fast Track” legislative procedure has only a maximum duration up until October of this year in the best of cases.

    Constant delays have permanent within Congress and this has caused for only 12% of the required laws to be passed. The electoral race for the 2018 presidential and congress elections has already started, and it seems that Congressmen are more concentrated on their own political agendas than that of the establishment of Peace in Colombia.

    Added to all this uncertainty and fooling around with the country’s future, the Constitutional Court of Colombia has made a revision to the “Fast Track” legislative procedure ruling and has removed two of its most important rules that are directly associated with the assurance that these laws will maintain the spirit of the agreed:

    Modifications to the laws regarding peace can be done in Congress without any consultation or authorization by the government administration. This poses as an enormous risk to the spirit and core aspects of the Peace Agreement since these can be modified without any regulation and at will of the members of Congress that are no precisely interested in the application of these laws.
    These laws cannot be voted a whole, but article by article. This also opens the door to even further modifications to the agreed upon.
    The result of this may well be the introduction of a series of laws far away from the spirit and core aspects of the already agreed upon between the FARC-EP and the Government.

    It must be noted that Colombia is regarded as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and there are many conflicts of interests among the members of Congress who are financed by or are themselves part of economic conglomerates, multinational corporations, landlords and banks etc., that don’t precisely have an interest in aspects of the agreement such as a Comprehensive Rural Reform, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace or the democratic opening that implies the entering into politics of the FARC-EP and also many other alternative political projects.

    Diverse political sectors that are in pro of Peace have expressed their concern, the FARC-EP troops have entered into “Permanent Assembly” and citizen protests are being convened for the next days.

    Why is Peace a problem?

    The Peace Agreement aims to resolve and reform some basic aspects of the socio-political ordering in Colombia to once and for all abolish violence within politics and its political persecution through a democratic opening and abolishment of paramiltiarism, as well, it aims to modernize the Colombian country side in order for millions of peasants to have life and economic opportunities so that they don’t face misery situations that lead them to join or conform an armed group nor to have to grow illicit crops such as poppy, coca and marihuana in order to survive.

    Also read: Brief guide to understand Peace Agreements in Colombia

    Another core aspect of the agreement is for the truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition guarantees to be established for all the victims of the conflict and for all Colombians. This also generates great discomfort among various politicians, high commanders of the Armed Forces, massive landowners and companies that have also been participant of the armed conflict through the promotion and/or the financing and creation of paramilitary death squads and actions aimed at the intensification of the armed conflict through direct support to an armed group or committed, coordinated and commanded genocides and tragedies.

    On its part the FARC-EP has agreed to respond to this Special Justice System for Peace, tell the truth, repair victims, and comply with the sentencing that this justice system is to establish for each case, but it is necessary for all actors, parties, and participants of the armed conflict in general to also comply with this justice system.

    "It's the moment to unite hopes and gather hearts for Peace. Difficulties have never paralyzed us"

    "bending over backwards" is so inadequate, it seems FARC is not going to be blamed for scuttling the peace, but I'm starting to get the notion that despite my handwringing there is a 'Plan B'.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  10. #110
    FARC on High Alert as Colombian Court Decision Slows Peace Process, Ends 'Fast Track'

    Soldiers of the Colombian Army disembark from a helicopter in a zone previously occupied by FARC rebels, Saiza, Colombia, Feb. 3, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

    Published 18 May 2017 (20 hours 58 minutes ago)

    The “hit to the heart of the peace process” will significantly slow the ongoing efforts toward peace, putting FARC rebels on “high alert.”
    In a surprising decision that could be a major impediment to the ongoing process to end the 52-year-long Colombian internal conflict, the country's Constitutional Court struck down the "fast track" process for approving the deal in Congress, declaring parts of the measure unconstitutional.

    From now on, the laws and reforms that implement the peace accords and protections for demobilized FARC members will have to be voted on article by article, rather than in blocks, significantly slowing the process and opening up more opportunities for interference and change in the agreements.

    The leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Rodrigo Londoño, also known as Timoleon Jimenez or Timochenko, announced on his Twitter account that in response to the sudden decision to end the fast track process, FARC members in “all the regions and points of transition and normalization enter into permanent assembly."

    Another FARC leader, Jesus Santrich, clarified that permanent assembly is “a way of saying that all of the soldiers enter into a state of alert,” Colombia's Semana magazine reported.

    In a live broadcast, Ivan Marquez, lead negotiator for the FARC in peace talks with the government, questioned the Constitutional Court's authority, urging President Santos to do whatever he can to keep the implementation of the peace accord on track, "We need fewer laws and more action," adding that the FARC would continue to hold up its end of the accord.

    Marquez called on the Colombian people to mobilize in support of the peace accord, which he said took six long years to reach and should not be derailed by judicial actions.

    The fast track process that just came to a sudden halt was approved by the court last December in order to allow Congress to carry out a special legislative procedure that would accelerate the implementation of the historic peace deal to end the war between the government and the FARC guerilla army. It sped up the approval process for key bills needed to implement the deal, most notably an amnesty bill that gave guarantees of safety to FARC members after they demobilize.

    With FARC demobilization still underway with United Nations supervision, the decision casts doubt over the future of the process.

    According to Semana, Senator Roy Barreras, one of the early proponents of the fast track process, expressed that he was “very worried” by the decision of the court, adding that it is a “hit to the heart of the peace process.”

    "Just as we should be very worried from now on, the judges must also know that they made the the peace process much more difficult," Barreras continued.

    The Colombian conflict erupted in 1964 when the FARC and National Liberation Army, known as the ELN, took up arms for rural land rights. The conflict drew in various rebel and paramilitary forces and drug gangs as well as state forces, leaving at least 260,000 people dead and displacing more than 7 million, according to authorities.

    Ending the 52-year long conflict between the government and FARC has been a long and difficult process. In recent months, as many regions formerly controlled by FARC demobilize, power vacuums have opened up giving space to right-wing paramilitaries to gain footholds in areas with lucrative illegal economies. In some areas, violence has actually increased in the midst of demobilization.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  11. #111
    National Government cheats the democratization of land agreed in the Final Peace Agreement

    Communiqué # 3 of the FARC-EP delegation to the Follow up, Promotion and Implementation Commission (CSIVI)

    We recently reported with satisfaction the achievement of agreeing with the Government the draft decree "By which measures are adopted to facilitate the implementation of the Comprehensive Rural Reform contemplated in the Final Land Agreement, specifically the procedure for the access and formalization [of land] and the Land Fund "advancing in this way in overcoming the difficulties caused by repeated government failures to comply with the normative implementation of the Comprehensive Rural Reform.

    In a formal session of the Follow up, Promotion and Implementation Commission (CSIVI), the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace undertook to send such a project to the Permanent Bureau of Consultation with Indigenous Peoples and Organizations for the Prior Consultation procedure. However, yesterday we learned that the project was not only out of line with the version prepared jointly by the CSIVI, but also introduced changes that were openly contrary to the agreed provisions.

    Loyal to the Final Peace Agreement, the agreed version recognized peasants as beneficiaries of land access. The rigged version extends the benefits to large [land] owners through the granting of rights of use. In addition, it limits the foreseen community participation.

    With this cheating act, the National Government not only betrays the Final Peace Agreement, but also the peasants who hold the hope that the Comprehensive Rural Reform will make the de-concentration and democratization of land possible, which this decree made viable through the creation of the Land Fund, adjudication and formalization procedures, and community participation.

    The historic opportunity to close the cycle of violence -whose origin has been the unresolved problem of land tenure- is at stake.

    "Trust capitalists to act like capitalists."
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  12. #112
    Submitted to Black Alliance for Peace

    By Esther Ojulari
    Monday 22nd May 2017

    The city of Buenaventura on Colombia’s Pacific coast is home to the country’s main international port through which billions of dollars of imports and exports pass every year. Yet due to decades of abandonment form the government, the mainly Afrodescendant and indigenous community of Buenaventura does not have access to adequate health services, education or running water. Further, neoliberal development projects to expand the port threaten the very existence of communities as traditional fishing livelihoods are destroyed and whole communities violently displaced from their ancestral lands.

    Since last Tuesday 16th May the community of Buenaventura (along with communities in the Chocó region of Colombia) has been on general strike demanding that the government fulfils basic human rights to water, education, health, culture, land and freedom from racism and violence. Businesses were closed, road blocks were set up at several points along the main road and peaceful protestors chanted, sang, danced and banged cooking pots to call attention to the desperate situation. On the first day along the Chamber of Commerce reported the strikes had caused up to 10,000 million pesos (about $3.5 million USD) in losses.

    For three days there was a sense of joy and hope as the Civic Strike Committee entered into discussions with the government. But unfortunately due to lack of consensus the discussions were suspended and on Friday 19th the national government sent the ESMAD (riot squad) to repress the protestors and violently remove the road blocks. The crowds and communities were attacked with tear gas throughout the day and into the night of the 19th causing numerous injuries. Tragically in the community of Punta el Este, located at the end of Buenaventura’s main bridge to the port and city centre, Puente Piñal, a baby was suffocated from the gas causing outrage and indignation throughout the community. The ESMAD had one aim here, to open the road for the trucks to leave the port and allow the global capitalist machine to clunk back into action. Once again private business interests were prioritised over the lives of the black and indigenous community.

    On Saturday the government installed a prohibition on public demonstrations and a curfew in response to looting of supermarkets by some people, although many have claimed these actions were instigated by outside forces. Nevertheless the peaceful protestors have remained firm in their objectives and calls for a satisfactory response to their demands. On the 20th March over 30,000 people put on white shirts and marched to the city centre to demonstrate that the strike would go on, and on the 21st, National day of Afro-Colombian Heritage, we estimate that up to 200,000 marched to the outskirts of the city. Up to 200 people have been detained by the authorities accused of participating in looting and rioting and while the freedom of some has now been secured many have ongoing legal processes.

    Today as the Committee returns to discussions with the government the people of Buenaventura continue to strike and continue to march under the calls “el pueblo no se rinde carajo” (the people won’t give up…), and “pueblo unido, jamás será vencido” (a united people will never be defeated).

    In solidarity with the struggling people of Black Colombia and in defence of fundamental human rights, the Black Alliance for Peace calls on the people in the United States to sign the petition below, but also to circulate information on this situation through your networks since it is being “whited out” by the corporate press. We are also asking that you send statements of solidarity to
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  13. #113
    May 27th, 53rd anniversary of the FARC-EP

    By: Gabriel Angel, FARC-EP

    Of the 53 years of the FARC-EP, I spent the last thirty in their ranks. I arrived in 1987, a month before Dr. Jaime Pardo Leal, president of the Patriotic Union political movement -to which I joined less than two years before- was killed. I was a lawyer from the city, so the contrast with my previous life was enormous.

    The nights seemed too dark for me, and the incessant choir of crickets that only disappeared in the light of day provoked a strange feeling in me. Rain was falling with deafening rays and one would have to walk through monstrous mudslides. The weight on the back and the arms became new organs that you had to learn to dominate. The only joy came from others.

    Throughout the the days, months and the years I learned that the country-side and the jungle have their own scents, and that these get attach to the body without one noticing. In my times in the Sierra mountain range of the Colombian caribbean coasts, I could sometimes see from the heights the night lights of Barranquilla and other cities. Also, on sunny days, I appreciated the immense blue of the sea merging with the sky on the horizon, in prodigious contrast with the green vegetation behind.

    I was marvelled by the immense white moles of the snowy mountains, which in the early morning sent out an icy mist. Later, when I was transferred to the Magdalena Medio region, the beautiful landscapes were replaced by more hostile ones. Nowhere did I find such heat or clouds of mosquitoes. They were throwing themselves on top of us and only the mosquito net in the evenings protected us.

    From the mosquitoes I learned the malarial fevers, as well as the medicines to cure them. If in the Sierra I learned of poisonous snakes, in my new home I confirmed how terrible their bite could be. I observed that in the flat lands, the rivers don't carry stones but mud, and their waters are brown or black like those of the Opón. Within these rivers the invisible stingrays lurks with its silent and cruel dagger.

    In the Sierra we talked about the Contraguerrilla [Counter-guerrilla] as troops to watch out for. In the Magdalena Medio it was the Mobile Brigades. In the caribean coast [where the Sierra is], paramilitarism was just beginning to flourish, while in the Magdalena Medio paramilitarism was master in its criminal perversity. The Masetos, which was the name of the local paramilitary group, used its terror to impose themselves on the peasant population and to turn it against the guerrillas. Their coordinated work with the military and civilian authority gave them impunity.

    My best memory of the Sierra and the Magdalena Medio is the immense affection that the people had for us, the faith they had in the guerrilla commanders, the respect, the solidarity and their disposition to even take risks and sacrifices if necessary to help us out. Their organizations and their spirit for the struggle were the best encouragement to give it all for them.

    Then came the time of the Caguán, [which was the town where a peace process was held between the FARC-EP and the Government from 1999 to 2002 without reaching any final agreeement] the public hearings that the entire country could hear and watch through radio and television. I was thrilled by the fervor of men and women who came from the remotest places of Colombia to make their presentations and speeches which were full of nonconformity, projects and dreams for their regions. The government burnt all that down, just as it got rid of the Common Agenda for Change, signed as an agenda for the Caguán Peace Process with the FARC-EP.

    Once these Peace Talks came to their unsuccessful end, I stayed long years in the Eastern Bloc of the FARC-EP. There, I met with the most intense part of the war. There was no more civilian population to turn to, only jungle, marches [long walks within the mountains and jungle], winters, summers, aircraft overflight, bombing, landings, machine-gunning, combats. One morning in November we exchanged goodbye hugs with Domingo Biohó, Simon Trinidad and Lucero [FARC-EP members] who moved to the South Bloc without imagining what was awaiting them [Simón Trinidad was captured and sent to a U.S. prison where he is currently held, while going to a secret meeting with the United Nations officials in Ecuador in order to resolve the situation of Prisoners of War that the FARC-EP had in their control; Domingo Biohó, who was a recognized commander, and Lucero who was the sentimental partner of Simón Trinidad died in an aerial bombing in 2010].

    I shared with young men and women of heroic stamina the most difficult circumstances. It was common to hear of their death or injuries, or of their disappearance after battle without ever hearing any news of them again. They gave their lives for the cause and there was not even time to mourn them. Many loves and dreams were truncated, but also dreams were reborn without end. What a beautiful smile the guerrillas had, what a loud laugh the guerrillas gave.

    I crossed hundreds of miles through almost virgin landscapes of the Catatumbo wich is located in the Magdalena Medio region. With Timo, current Commander-in-chief of the FARC-EP, came the Havana Peace Talks and the Final Agreement with the government. The recognition of the FARC as a prestigious political force took on a universal dimension. A prize to Jacobo and Manuel [FARC-EP founders], to the tens of thousands of combatants with their stories full of humanity and greatness.

    The viciousness against us during these 53 years never ceased. The powerful, the greedy, and the intolerants have shown their fear to words, desperately trying to silence us.

    Upon returning to Colombia from Havana, Cuba, we are confident of having reached an important achievement. The cause of peace today more than ever belongs to the peoples, it involves justice and rights.

    Colombia knows this.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

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