FARC-EP News from Havana, Cuba, 05.05.2015 [En]
Everything You Need to Know about the Peace Talks: All Colombians to the Bolivarian movement! (20 minutes, English subtitled)
- 15th Aniversario of the launching of the Bolivarian Movement
- Colombian State = Offender State
- No more glyphosate
- Protests in Colombian prisons
- Teacher’s strike lasts for one week without agreements
Peace Delegation FARC-EP, Havana, Cuba
“We don’t want any more deaths on either side”: Pablo Catatumbo
The Government, the UN, the opposition and almost every sector of society are of the view that actions by your side in Buenos Aires (Cauca) have seriously dented confidence in the process.
Taken from: www.elpais.com.co
Do you not consider them a mistake that has affected the talks?
What happened in Buenos Aires on the 14th April is regrettable due to the amount of heartache and grief suffered by humble compatriot families, because the long and the short of this is that this is a war, although fought on the field by the poor, forced upon us by oligarchs.
Any circumstances that give rise to death in the course of war are regrettable. What occurred is due to governmental refusal to agree to a bilateral ceasefire and orders to intensify the war, incrementing counter guerrilla military operations nationwide to appease the extreme right, affirming increasing degrees of insecurity. This is a truly terrible aspect of this conflict.
We do not want any more deaths on any side. This incident demonstrates the absolute validity and legitimacy of renewed calls for a bilateral cessation of hostilities. It is the only way to avoid further conflict related deaths of our countrymen. And it is the best of all possible measures to build trust between the parties.
Do you now have an internal final report on what took place on the 14th April?
We have made public at press conferences convened at the Havana Convention Center that guerrilla units within the zone reacted to provocations and harassment by Military Forces and an attempted surrounding of the area in which they moved as a precursor to an attack. We reiterate that our unilateral ceasefire does not exclude defensive actions. We do not wish to come across as defiant but I reiterate most sincerely that our decision to call a unilateral and indefinite ceasefire does not imply that our guerrillas must quietly allow themselves be killed.
A document that supposedly has been discussed by the “End of Conflict” subcommission and which deals with concentration zones has been known about. Has information been leaked and is the confidentiality of the process being lost?
What we perceive, is a clear position by certain media, who are actively opposing the talks, generating false rumors and supposed leaks intended to foster destabilization and to undermine public opinion.
The sub-commission dealing with the end of the conflict has been working at a steady pace and has made effective progress. Their conclusions will be of great value for the advancement of this process. We are presently only preliminarily debating these matters, nothing has as yet been agreed. When we have an agreement the country will be fully informed.
How do the FARC rate the proposal by former president Uribe that they install themselves in one central point within the country to facilitate verification of their compliance with all cease-fire related activity?
This is not a viable proposition from a logistical or military perspective. It has no precedent in any internal conflict resolution process where the victors or defeated are as yet undefined. It is a proposal with no basis in the reality of the conflict and it does not take account of the present peculiarities of the ongoing war in Colombia. This is wishful thinking which in politics, is generally dysfunctional.
You have spoken of unilateral Army attacks on your forces while they have been withdrawing. Where is this happening and is there any verifiable record of such occurrences?
Mass military operations extend for almost the entire area of the Comandante Jorge Briceño Block in the east of the country. The same is the case in Caqueta, Putumayo, in Magdalena Medio, the Santanderes and the Caribbean Coast. Similar situations are arising on the Pacific Coast, in the Choco, inValle, Cauca, Huila and Tolima and to the north of Antioquia.
The orientation of our High Command is not to plan or carry out offensive actions, but to remain on the defensive and not allow closing in or surrounding, because our primary obligation is to preserve the lives of our men.
How are military actions affecting the areas of Valle and Cauca where you have most influence?
There is a strong and growing militarization of this zone by State forces on both the Central and Western ranges and on the Pacific Seaboard. In spite of all this, we are sticking with our decision to maintain our unilateral cessation of hostilities whilst maintaining our guerrilla columns deployed and on high alert.
How do you evaluate the proposal by ex-president Cesar Gaviria to find a final point within the justice system that would cover all sectors, not only guerrillas and military?
The reflections of ex-president Cesar Gaviria are, without a shadow of doubt, a valuable contribution to the search for a way out the lengthy internal conflict that confronts us. His are the most logical that could be implemented in the context of such a long and bloody conflict as ours, with so many victims and so many people implicated in the dynamics and development of it.
It cannot be forgotten that in this war that has been ongoing for more than 50 years, that in addition to those directly involved there are also industrialists, the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the political parties, the guilds, the so called ruling class etc etc…… Conflict resolution and victim compensation should include a clarification of what it is that occurred, why it did and the part played by each within it.
Do you at this point consider that the peace process with the government is in need of the good offices of, and indeed mediation by, figures such as the Uruguayan ex-president Jose “Pepe” Mujica?
Every democratic personality, domestic or foreign, is welcome to participate in the peace process. We need millions of people globally to encircle this collective attempt at reconciliation.
Ex-president Mujica has always been a friend of peace in our country, he has said that peace in Colombia is peace on the continent and he has taken vows in support of the talks reaching a successful conclusion. We have nothing against his gracious offer, it is always a great pleasure to converse with him and he has an integral and progressive vision for our nation.
Why should Colombians continue to believe that this process really is close to resolving the conflict?
Because it represents the only possible path to the National realization of what all Colombians most yearn for. Peace is the only situation that allows us all to really have won. It is the only national proposition that can unite all Colombians. Something like this is worthy of effort, sacrifice and faith.
English Translation Courtesy of Sean Joseph Clancy
Colombia needs a Clarification Commission
Report from Havana, Cuba, May 3, 2015
“Commission should guarantee victim compensation and non-repetition of the conflict”
FARC-EP Comandante Jesús Santrich spoke today from Havana, Cuba, on the importance of establishing a Clarification Commission for Truth and Non Repetition, its mandate and scope and the importance of opening the archives of the State for this purpose.
The spokesman explained that the Clarification Commission would not be a judicial body, but rather “an extrajudicial mechanism of research, clarification and punishment”. Its mandate should be, according to Jesús Santrich, “to learn about the serious and massive human rights violations, – including economic, social and cultural rights -, serious war crimes and crimes against humanity that occurred during the conflict and identify -individually and collectively – the ones directly responsible.”
He also clarified that the purpose of the Commission should be reconciliation, reparation for victims and guarantees of non-repetition.
According to the FARC-EP, the Clarification Commission should be endowed with “powers to ensure the appearance of persons or to access the places where the evidence of what happened can be found.”
Finally, the Comandante stressed the importance of having a mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the Commission’s findings, mainly involving victims’ organizations.