Questions in British parliament on violence against FARC members

On 14 November 2018, the Labour Party MP Clive Efford submitted two questions to the government minister for Europe and the Americas, Alan Duncan MP, on recent attacks against FARC members in Colombia. Around 80 FARC former combatants and 20 close relatives have been murdered since Colombia’s peace agreement was signed in November 2016. On 6 November 2018, the FARC political party issued a statement regarding the uncovering of an alleged plan to target its members.

Below is the full transcript of the exchange.

Clive Efford MP (Labour Party)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has received reports alleging that police in Colombia have passed information to the FARC party warning of plans they have uncovered to kill members of their party leadership; if he will make representations to the Government in Colombia on the protection of those people; and if he will make a statement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Government of Colombia on protection for leaders of the FARC party since the attempted murder of Fancy Urrego (Erika Montero), a member of that party’s leadership; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Alan Duncan MP (Minister for Europe and the Americas)

I discussed the killings of former members of the FARC, human rights defenders and social activists in Colombia with President Duque’s advisor for international affairs and human rights on 17 October. I also condemn the attempted murder of FARC leader Erika Montero in Medellin on 4 November which seeks to undermine confidence in the peace process.

The Colombian Government has taken welcome steps to train protection teams for FARC leaders, with recruits including former FARC combatants. The UK has raised the importance of providing security guarantees set out in the peace deal during discussions at the UN Security Council where the UK holds the pen for the peace process, and through CSSF funding we have strengthened the Colombian Government’s capacity to do this. The UK has also called for improved protection measures for human rights defenders, including through recommendations that Colombia accepted during its Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights at the UN (Geneva) in May.

The UK fully supports implementation of the 2016 historic peace agreement and continues to work closely with the new Colombian Government and international partners to ensure a safer more prosperous future for all Colombians.