Colombian government: FARC former guerrillas ‘absolutely committed to peace process’

The Colombian government body charged with overseeing the peace process has said that thousands of FARC former guerrillas who willingly disarmed following the signing of the 2016 agreement ‘are absolutely committed to the process’.

Emilio Archila, the Presidential Advisor for Stabilisation and Consolidation, was speaking while in Europe to meet with the European Union, European governments and human rights organisations. He also said that the government of President Iván Duque was focused on implementing the agreement.

Despite the recent high-profile decision by senior FARC members Iván Márquez and Jesús Santrich to leave the peace process, more than 90 per cent of former guerrillas remain in the reincorporation process. The United Nations, Colombian opposition parties and human rights organisations have all emphasised the need to accelerate implementation of the peace agreement, which has not advanced in a number of core areas.

Duque has been widely criticised for his attempts to modify the agreement and for the widespread human rights violations affecting many regions of Colombia. More than 200 social activists have been murdered since he took office in August 2018, according to Colombian human rights organisations.

Despite Archila’s words of assurance, there are concerns over government plans to reduce funding to the peace process from next year. Already struggling for resources, institutions such as the transitional justice court, known as the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, and the Truth Commissioncreated which were created under the terms of the agreement could see funding cut by as much as 30 per cent.

Additionally, despite the murders of at least 142 FARC former guerrillas in the reincorporation process, authorities last week ordered government-appointed security details for FARC members to hand in weapons. This has raised fears over increased vulnerability of FARC members.

In June, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial Executions, Agnes Callamard, called on the Colombian government to ‘stop inciting violence‘ against the FARC.