According to the text that was published, both Senator Mauricio Lizcano, in his capacity as President of the Upper House, and Representative Miguel Ángel Pinto, in exercise of his function as President of the Lower House, don’t authorize the entry of members of the FARC and ELN to the Elliptical Hall or to any other venue of the Congress of the Republic.
When referring specifically to Iván Márquez [of the FARC-EP], who had been invited to the closing of the event, the statement argues that only members of Voices of Peace* can enter the venue, and that the head of the Peace Delegation of the FARC cannot do so until the decommissioning of weapons, and if they committed crimes against humanity, until peace courts authorize it.
On its part, according to the aforementioned statement, the ELN representative, Pablo Beltran, cannot do so because they are an organization outside the law.
A little less than a month ago, the two respectable congressmen went to the city of Cartagena on the occasion of the so-called peace conclave. There, in the auditorium of the Bolívar Governorship and in the office of the Governor, they took part in a meeting with the members of the CSIVI [Follow up, Promotion and Implementation Commission], to which Ivan Márquez, Jesus Santrich and Victoria Sandino [FARC-EP delegates] are part of, and in which in addition to the government´s representatives in that instance, Timoleón Jiménez, Commander-in-Chief of the FARC-EP and the President of the Republic, Juan Manuel Santos, accompanied by several of his ministers, actively participated.
In the speeches of the leaders of the political parties committed to the peace process and its implementation in Congress -which were followed by the speech of Senator Lizcano- all of them expressed their unreserved support for the Havana Agreements, they expressed their explicit intention to work for its implementation and assume its political defense towards the future.
The FARC not only signed the Habana Agreements, but we have given reliable evidence before the country of our willingness to faithfully comply them. We don’t understand, how at this point, negative positions still prevail in the higher spheres of legislative power, being the same Congress that has passed successive legislative acts that recognize our political condition and legitimize our participation in the political life of our country.
I should not, but I cannot refrain from mentioning, the presence in the Congress of the Republic of three prominent paramilitary leaders –in the times of the government administration of today’s Senator, Alvaro Uribe- with the approval of the President and the leadership of the Congress of the Republic. Something very strange happens in Colombia if Iván Márquez cannot make presence in the closing act of the National Peace Congress.
The denial of the momentary presence of Iván Márquez in the Congress of the Republic –the same Congress that overwhelmingly endorsed the agreed in Havana after its signature in the Colón Theatre- does not cease to seem as a suggestive concession in favor of the far right sectors that are opposed to reconciliation and peaceful democratic coexistence among Colombians. No one should endorse to those who persist in the indefinite prolongation of the armed conflict
Peace in Colombia cannot be stopped by anyone.
Havana, April 28, 2017.
*Voices of Peace, in spanish Voces de Paz, is a group of 6 spokespersons of the Peace Agreement to Congress mandated by the Peace Agreement signed between the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP, learn more here