The peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army), signed on 11/24/2016, is partly broken. The former head of the FARC-EP negotiator of the peace process, Iván Márquez, announced the return to arms of a part of the guerrillas1. Despite this, Timochenko and the bulk of former FARC-EP guerrillas remain faithful to the peace agreement.
The peace process, culminated in the signing of the Final Agreement for the End of Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Lasting Peace2, seeks the end of the armed conflict that was happening in Colombia, since the early 1960s, between the FARC-EP (and various leftist guerrillas), far-right paramilitary groups and the Colombian State, among others3. The involvement of the CIA -through military support to the army and paramilitary groups- in the conflict is a probable4 cause of the increase in the number of political murders from 14 to 20 daily since 20005.
The FARC-EP are defined as a revolutionary movement of a political-military nature that emerged in response to the aggressions and expropriation of land by the bourgeois and landowner class, whose victims were, in many cases, indigenous and impoverished Afro-descendants6. On the other hand, the Colombian and the US government, among others, define the FARC as a terrorist group7. Since 2017, the EU eliminated this designation for the movement8.
These are some of the figures of said armed conflict according to the National Center of Historical Memory of Colombia9:
- Between 1970 and 2010, 27,023 kidnappings (2,541 by paramilitary groups and 24,482 by guerrillas).
- Between 1981 and 2012, 23,161 selective killings (most carried out by paramilitary groups).
- Between 1985 and 2012, 11,751 victims of massacres (the majority carried out by paramilitary groups).
- Between 1985 and 2012, 25,007 forced disappearances (carried out by the State and/or paramilitary groups).
- Depending on the source, (1985-2012 or 1996-2012) between 4,744,046 and 5,712,506 displaced are estimated.
- Between 1958 and 2012, the death of 218,094 people. 81% were civilians.
After the signing of the peace agreements, human rights violations continued in large areas of the country. The main victims are women, indigenous peoples and opposition and union leaders. Since 2016, 702 social leaders and human rights defenders as well as 135 ex-guerrillas of the FARC-EP in the process of reinstatement were assassinated10. The government, meanwhile, is silent and is unable to stop these abuses, as reported in several Amnesty International reports11. Popular response may be imminent.
5 Matt Kennard, La Extorsión. Un Reportero Canalla contra la Élite Estadounidense, p. 87.