FARC statement of 9 Feb 2018 on suspension of political campaigning

Justice For Colombia News | on: Friday, 9 February 2018

The successive attacks realised against the electoral campaign of the People's Alternative Revolutionary Force, FARC, in the departments of Quindío, Caquetá and Valle del Cauca, which has already produced the first injuries, including two minors, in addition to material damage to vehicles and a trade union headquarters, demonstrates the existence of a coordinated plan, directed to impede the political participation of a legally-constituted political party, following the peace agreement that put an end to more than half a century of armed conflict which originated, precisely, in intolerance and political exclusion, mixed with partisan violence.

The threats, accusations and photos taken at the homes of FARC militants are added to the aforementioned, while text messages on social networks inciting violence abound, as well as images in which those responsible for the violence can be clearly identified. These criminal acts, among which are some regional leaders of the Democratic Center party, as well as well-known professional provocateurs such as Mr. Gustavo Muñoz, all in the midst of surprising impunity.

The right to protest cannot be used as an argument to justify facts and conduct classified as crimes in the Colombian criminal code. Therefore, we will go with all the evidence available, before the courts to punish those responsible for these events.

To the above, it is added that on 6 February of the current year in the village of Puerto Guamo in the municipality of Montecristo, department of Bolivar, at 11 o'clock at night, FARC member Kevin Andrés Lugo Jaramillo, known as Julian Morales, was murdered, apparently by guerrillas from the Guillermo Ariza Front of the National Liberation Army, ELN.

At the same time we express our solidarity to his family, comrades and friends, we demand that the National Government make effective the guarantees for the political exercise of the People's Alternative Revolutionary Force, on an equal footing with other parties and movements participating in the ongoing electoral contest.

We also express our voice of solidarity with the parties and candidates that have suffered some type of obstruction or threat in the development of the campaign, which we reject vehemently. Colombia cannot become an electorally failed state because of the enemies of peace.

For the time being, we have decided to suspend campaign activities, until we can depend on sufficient guarantees.

We call on all parties and political movements, without exception, to reject this type of provocation and we invite them to meet with us in a summit to agree rules of fair play for the current electoral campaign which prioritises arguments, ideas and proposals over verbal aggression and physical violence.

We call all our membership, friends and supporters not to get carried away by the provocations, to keep calm and concentrate on the development of internal meetings that allow us to strengthen the programmatic proposals that we are presenting for the country's consideration.

To the guarantors of the Peace Agreement, to the Second Mission of the United Nations, and to the entire international community, we ask for your support to fulfil the political reincorporation of those of us who until recently were engaged in armed uprising owing to the intolerance and exclusion that has characterised the Colombian political system.

To the whole nation, we reiterate our commitment to the consolidation of peace with social justice, full democracy and sovereignty.

National Political Council

People's Alternative Revolutionary Force

FARC

(Read the statement in Spanish)



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