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Communiqués published by the Peace Delegation, the Central High Command and the National Secretariat of the FARC-EP
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 00:00

Open letter to Jean Arnault, Representative of the UN Secretary-General

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Mr. Jean Arnault,
Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the Peace Process

The last guerrilla contingent composed of combatants from Fronts 3rd 14th and 15th of the FARC are already at the Transitional Local Zone for Normalization of Agua Bonita in Montañita Caquetá. In this manner, the grouping cycle of the FARC in 26 agreed Transitory Zones and Points for Normalization has concluded. With this transcendental and historical step we have reaffirmed our indeclinable determination for peace.

However, as it is publicly known, none of the 26 Zones and Points have the infrastructure to house guerrillas in conditions of normality. All of them are spending the night in makeshift cambuches [huts], and it is not true that 80 percent of the common areas are finished as affirmed by the [Colombian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace (OACP). Our people have made their bedrooms with plastics and sticks while putting their labor in the construction of common areas and their future housing. If there is delay in the construction, it was not because of lack of will on part of the FARC, but because the materials have not arrived on time, although we do remark that there has been a better commitment on part of the Government in this last stage to solve this type of difficulties.

It’s necessary to clarify that what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the OACP call the Third Phase -which is the construction of the lodgings by the FARC- is the Government’s responsibility and not ours. However, we are putting all our cooperation -without it being part of the protocols- in order to move forward.

Anyone who visits the Zones can realize that there are no reception areas and that if guerrillas are located adjacent to the camping zones, is precisely because these are not finished. In most places problems such as drinking water, power, connectivity, or roads are not solved. If there is no camp, what protocols other than those of common sense can be invoked? In any case the guerrilla has acted in a disciplined and responsible manner and with absolute cordiality and integrated with the communities, to which they thank for their warm welcome.

The Government´s note that the Monitoring Mechanism is silent "in face of many violations of the protocols governing the CFHBD [Bilateral Ceasefire] and the Decommissioning of Weapons" seems reckless to us. This is nothing more than an accusation to the FARC of being in violation of the protocols, which disregards all the efforts that we have made in order to reach the Normalization Zones despite the lack of government management and improvisation. In the meantime, paramilitarism is moving and spreading, threatening and assassinating popular leaders in areas left by the FARC and also in places bordering on its current location.

Never have the Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor the OACP proposed in the framework of the CSIVI [Implementation, Monitoring, Verification of Final Peace Agreement and Dispute Settlement Commission] the realization of a balance with the MM&V [Monitoring and Verification Mechanism] as it can be verified from the reading of the minutes, reason why it is not good that in a prejudiced way the government now blames the FARC and the United Nations Mission for the on ground shortfalls, and it does not sound good that the OACP now intends to assume the control over the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism.

On the other hand, if the Zones are not finished, where are the containers [where the weapons are to be stored] supposed to be located? The Government seems to be more concerned regarding the placement of the weapons rather than of the people.

We fully agree on what follows regarding the activation of the protocols but within the realization of minimum conditions for their implementation. Similarly, the full implementation of the [Peace] agreement must be activated.

Everything that occurs with respect to the Normalization Zones and Points and the Decommissioning of Weapons Process has to do with the implementation of all the agreed, and in this case, the fulfillment of the commitments must be reciprocal. Pacta Sunt Servanda: the agreed compels and must be complied in good faith. Let us answer this simple question: If the Havana Peace Agreement has already been endorsed by Congress on behalf of the people, why do some spokespersons of the institutions pretend to change the text of the agreements?

We all know that there is a group of enemies of reconciliation that have been seeking for some time to destroy the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, to sabotage it, to entangle it with sophisms in order to protect third parties, that is to say, those who without directly being involved, did give orders that caused victimizations or others that financed paramilitarism, and that as a common denominator are afraid of the truth. Water and oil cannot be mixed -the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the Ordinary Jurisdiction- alleging in bad faith the persecution to crimes of permanent execution.

It is a shame that after several months of the signing the agreement, there is still no legal security for the FARC guerrillas.

Let’s not have the implementation converted into a new renegotiation, please. And it must be understood that commitments are on both parts. Consequently, for example, before setting deadlines for the Decommissioning of Weapons, we should set the deadlines for the materialization of aspects of the agreements that should have already been complied with.

We need for the Amnesty Law -passed 45 days ago by the Congress of the Republic- to be enforced in order for the process to be filled with confidence. The liberation of guerrillas and all those deprived of freedom due to their involvement in the conflict, especially of all those detained as a result of social protest, needs to take place; for guerrillas or anyone not to think that they are being deceived.

We are ready to present as soon as possible the lists of comrades who must move around the country making peace pedagogy, but how will we complete these names if we are still waiting for the amnestied to be released? Not even the release of those who are pardonable through law 418 has concluded.

Due to all of the above, the FARC is proposing within the CSIVI [Implementation, Monitoring, Verification of Final Peace Agreement and Dispute Settlement Commission] not only to start with the second United Nations mission, but also the immediate activation of the international component of implementation, such as the participation -under the terms of the agreement- of all the international bodies provided for therein.

And within these circumstances, the rescheduling of the Decommissioning of Weapons Process appears as a necessity.

Cordially,

Central High Command of the FARC-EP

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