Three more murdered FARC members takes total figure to 142 since peace deal signed

Three FARC former guerrillas were murdered and another badly injured in two separate attacks on Friday 6 September. All of the victims were active in the reincorporation process, having willingly disarmed under the terms of the 2016 peace agreement. However, the authorities had not granted them security measures despite the soaring levels of violence against the FARC.

At least 142 FARC members have now been assassinated since the agreement was signed in November 2016.

In Cúcuta, eastern Colombia, Milton Urrutia Mora and José Milton Peña Pineda were killed and Arsenio Maldonado badly injured in an attack at a hotel. Witnesses said a gunman opened fire before fleeing on a motorbike. All three victims were based at the Caño Indio reincorporation zone, one of 24 special camps based around the country where former guerrillas receive training and develop productive projects as they transition to civil society.

On the same day, 33-year-old Jackson Mena was murdered in Quibdó, the capital of western Colombia’s Chocó region. Jackson was a FARC former guerrilla who was socially and politically active in Quibdó’s poorer communities. The FARC said he had previously requested security measures due to threats against FARC members but these had not been granted.

Despite the violence being inflicted upon FARC members in the recincorporation process, the government has reduced security measures. Last week, it was revealed that the National Protection Unit, the state body charged with providing security to FARC members, trade unionists and social activists, had ordered FARC security details to return weapons. FARC party leader Rodrigo Londoño questioned the decision, asking why authorities had increased risks for former guerrillas.

The United Nations has expressed alarm over the violence against the FARC. In June, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial Executions, Agnes Callamard, called on the Colombian government to ‘stop inciting violence’ against the FARC. It followed the army killing of unarmed FARC member Dimar Torres in April.

In August 2018, a delegation of the Justice for Colombia Peace Monitor visited Cúcuta, where Milton Urrutia Mora and José Milton Peña Pineda were killed, and the nearby Catatumbo region which has seen high levels of human rights violations, including several killings, committed by state security forces and armed groups. The delegation highlighted the lack of security for communities and former guerrillas in the region. Since then, however, the situation has deteriorated with more than 200 social activists killed nationwide in the past year.