Due to weather conditions the President, FARC-EP delegates and the international guests could not arrive to La Elvira but carried on with the protocols in the city of Cali in a military base. The following is the FARC-EP communiqué read by Iván Márquez at the event.
President of the Republic, Mr. Juan Manuel Santos, Ex-presidents Mr. Pepe Mujica (Uruguay) and Mr. Felipe González (Spain), and a greeting from the distance to Jean Arnault, delegate of the Secretary General of the United Nations for the peace process in Colombia ...
Cordial greeting to the commanders of the Armed Forces, hosts of this event.
Today we are initiating the second phase of the process of lay down of weapons in the department of Cauca where there was war before and now there is hope. This earth has opened, generously, the folds of its mountain ranges to begin the flight of our collective dream of reconciliation.
Yesterday in the CSIVI [Follow-up, Promotion and Implementation Commission], with Juan Fernando Cristo [Interior Minister], Rafael Pardo [High Counselor for Postconflct, Human Rights and Security] and Sergio Jaramillo [High Commissioner for Peace], we made a balance of the activity carried out on June 7, the day the FARC completed the storage of 30% of its weapons in the United Nations containers, thus honoring its pawned word.
It is not an unknown fact for the national opinion that there are commitments undertaken by the parties that must be fulfilled in order to complete the crucial transit from weapons to politics without upheavals. The aforementioned balance meeting will continue next Thursday to extract from it the concrete arguments that will allow for the guerrillas gathered in the 26 Transitional Zones and Points of Normalization to know that the compliance of the commitments on the part of the Government indicate that it is necessary to continue the task.
President Juan Manuel Santos: you have given us your word that you will comply with the agreement with the FARC, that you are committed with the peace and reconciliation of Colombia ... from here, from the "Marco Fidel Suárez" Air Base in the city of Cali, we say that we believe in your commitment.
You have in your hands the constitutional authority of the exclusive management of peace and you can use it to defend it if necessary. We witness a history of half a century of confrontation in which the State was united to wage war and crush the people's armed resistance.
We now hope that this unity and persistence will guide all branches of public power, all institutionality, in harmonious collaboration to build peace. There is a threat of shattering the process and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace that cannot be ignored, because the consummation of such nonsense can push our reconciliation to the abyss of failure. Some institutional actors have already set their tools of influence against it by arguing despicable premises, such as the replacement of the Constitution. Others, in the midst of the exacerbation of the dirty war, are getting in the way of the materialization of the commitment to launch the Special Unit to Fight Against Paramilitarism because they want -and hopefully God doesn’t- to protect third parties involved in the conflict. They don’t do or let others do: they do nothing to combat paramiliatrism and at the same time oppose the Special Unit, which is an autonomous subsidiary institution, which only comes into action if the Attorney General’s Office doesn´t.
These same enemies of concord –with the objective to tribialize the extraordinary event of the lay down of weapons- invented the distractive that this is not enough without the handing over of assets, and on marshy premises maintain, that with the creation of the trust fund that will cover the victims and the reincorporation process, a money laundering operation would occur, without taking into account the incontrovertible fact that no one in the FARC has fought 50 years to generate personal wealth. In this context, a witch hunt is already under way, prosecuting the property of the peasants. Today, the biggest problem that sows uncertainties in the implementation of agreements is the legal uncertainty.
Mr. President: as in no other peace process in the world, the application of the Amnesty Law passed by the Congress of the Republic six months ago, has progressed slowly and very slowly, when the release of combatants without so much delay had to be constituted as an incentive to accelerate the transition from insurgency to legal political activity.
The economic and social reincorporation does not yet possess the muscle and the institutionality that it demands further than the extremely basic measures to solve the issues of individuals who respond to aid policies. The structural dimension of reincorporation - which can only be provided with the conditions of a stable economy - is precariously drawn. There is still unusual resistance to give land to guerrillas who will soon stop being so in order to carry out their productive projects. And our physical security does not yet have the basic conditions in neither legal nor institutional organization aspects. Everything is still in process.
In this process, the central concern can not only be the fate of weapons, but the fate of men and women who begin to take their steps towards building a new country. Hence there is a fundamental need to define solutions for socio-economic reincorporation, which is nothing other than land, housing, health, education, and the solution of basic necessities that make life decent in a reconciled country. It is demonstrated that 82% of the peace agreements signed in the world between 1989 and 2012 that only included measures of disarmament were not successful. Our fate cannot be that of failure.
The debates promoted with questionable intentions in the media to cast doubt on our indeclinable will to comply with all agreed don’t help. Not only do they leave doubts in public opinion built on falsehoods or half truths, but also raise concerns about whether there is an ongoing orchestration to seek to subject us to criminal justice and justify extradition by sectors that want to prevent national concord.
The persistence of paramilitary groups, and the assassination of social leaders, confirms that the early stage of implementation of the agreements takes place in a difficult context. In spite of all this, we are advancing because there is political will and decision, which in general terms we recognize from the Government.
Although the road we are traveling is tortuous and full of obstacles, we go forward, with the firm conviction that we are starting a new page in the history of our country. Mr. President, let’s not fail on Colombia. On our part we say it with conviction: we have come to politics in order to stay, to influence it, and to transform it. We are going from weapons to words.
Central High Command of the FARC-EP