Historic moment as FARC announce indefinite ceasefire

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 18 December 2014

The peace process was given a massive boost yesterday as the FARC announced another ceasefire and this time have given it an indefinite timeframe. Calling on the government to reciprocate the ceasefire, the FARC have stated that they will only consider the ceasefire over if their troops come under attack.

The Colombian government has so far refused to respond to the FARC calls for a ceasefire, but the calls have been growing both domestically and internationally for a bilateral ceasefire which would indicate a perhaps definitive step towards ending the 50 year civil war. The FARC have already carried out three unilateral ceasefires which were recognised as having been respected.

The unilateral ceasefire will begin on Saturday. How the government will respond is yet to be seen.

Below is the FARC statement:

Havana, Cuba - The FARC-EP, through a press release read at 3 pm, declared a cease of fire and hostilities for an indefinite period, which should, at some moment, change into an armistice.

Comandante Iván Márquez specified that the ceasefire would be ended "only if it is found that our guerrilla structures have been attacked by the public force". The insurgency asked UNASUR, CELAC, the ICRC and the Frente Amplio por la Paz to monitor compliance with the ceasefire.

The ceasefire, “expressing the desire to overcome the useless episodes of blood", would take effect at 00:01 pm on December 20, given the support of at least one of the mentioned bodies.

The guerrilla Comandante also spoke of the last hearing held yesterday with the delegation of victims of the conflict, and of the need to take account of all victims, including those of the crematorium ovens, massacres and chainsaws; those resting in the tomb N.N.; the bodies that floated downriver to disappear forever.

The FARC-EP, said the statement, considers that the coming months are essential for peace and reconciliation in Colombia; it is a scenario of now or never.

Likewise, the Peace Delegation called on President Santos to stop expressing his happiness on his twitter account because of the death of guerrilla fighters. Respect for the fallen is a universal principle of humanity that must always be observed, according to the insurgency.

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