Two more FARC members were murdered yesterday, taking the number of former guerrillas killed to 137 since the peace agreement was signed in November 2016. The FARC party, which was founded under the terms of the 2016 agreement, has repeatedly warned of high risks to its members. Around 13,000 guerrillas are currently transitioning to civilian life under the terms of the agreement.
The two men died in separate attacks in the Cauca region in southwest Colombia. Carlos Yunda (above picture) was killed and his brother Pablo injured in an attack in Corinto. Weimar Galíndez Daza, who was 24 years old, was killed in El Tambo. Cauca is statistically the most violent region of Colombia, with a higher number of murders of social activists and FARC members than anywhere else in the country.
FARC senator Carlos Lozada said the party had learned of a plan to assassinate senior officials. He also called on Colombians to show their opposition to the instability and violence affecting the country in a national day to defend peace on 26 July. ‘May the Colombian people accompany us in this fight to prevent these murders being committed day by day [against] not only those who put down their weapons, but also social leaders. Let’s avoid this useless bloodshed’, he said.
The latest killings of FARC members come a month after the United Nations told the Colombian government to ‘stop inciting violence‘ against the FARC. The FARC subsequently urged the international community to take emergency action to tackle violence against its members after three former guerrillas were killed in five days.
Last week, in his quarterly report on the Colombian peace process, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres expressed major concern over ongoing violence in regions historically affected by state abandonment and conflict. ‘Urgently implementing comprehensive security guarantees and redoubling efforts to dismantle illegal groups and criminal structures, which pose a major threat to communities and peace implementation, are key steps to address these challenges’, he said.