The armed conflict in Colombia has left a series of victims from all parties of the conflict; on the contrary to what mainstream media and political discourse make believe, numerous investigations have shown that the vast majority of victims of the armed conflict have been caused by paramilitary and State violence rather than that of the insurgencies.
In a public act in the neighborhood of La Chinita, located in San Jose de Apartadó in the Urabá region of Antioquia, Iván Márquez on behalf of the FARC-EP recognized the organization's responsibility regarding a situation that resulted in the death of 35 civilians.
At a ceremonial act in the city of Cartagena in presence of national and international guests from all over the world, the FARC-EP and the National Government have officially signed the Final Peace Agreement after 52 continuous years of armed confrontation between the parties.
Havana, Cuba. August 24, 2016
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) and the National Government of Colombia reached a Final Peace Agreement after almost 4 years of Peace Talks.
With regard to yesterday's insane and tragic events in Orlando, Florida, where more than 50 people were killed and another 53 were wounded, the Secretariat of the FARC-EP expresses its solidarity with the people of the United States, especially with the families of the victims.
Peace and comprehensive reconciliation of all Colombians also includes truth and justice about the disappeared by agents of the State.
Based on: www.prensarural.org
April 9 has been proclaimed Day of the Victims in Colombia and on Saturday thousands took to the street to remember and pay tribute to the more than 300,000 people killed during the conflict in this country, as well as six million displaced people and 45,000 missing people.
Havana, Cuba, site of the peace talks, March 15, 2016, the year of peace
Ladies and gentlemen Peace plenipotentiaries of the Government of Colombia.
Representatives of the guarantor countries Cuba and Norway.
Spokesmen for the victims of enforced disappearance.
Nobody explained to them with any certainty/if they’ve already gone or not/
if they are banners or shivers/survivors or prayers/
they see trees and birds passing by/and they do not know to what shadow they belong
Mario Benedetti (Disappeared)
We salute those present, especially the National Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE), to the Nidia Erika Bautista Foundation, the Association of Relatives of Disappeared Detainees (ASFADDES), Alfonso Cajiao from the Office of the Ombudsman and Guillermo Rivera, presidential adviser for Human Rights. We highlight your efforts, and the universe of victims that participated from different regions and sectors in the elaboration of recommendations regarding the search for missing persons, which they have brought to the the site of the peace talks.
We attend this important ceremony of hope for reconciliation, to ratify it is of the utmost importance for peace of Colombia to pave the way to a prompt compliance of three of the most important commitments signed in Havana between the National Government and the FARC-EP:
- First, to create the "Special Unit for the search of missing persons in the context and due to the armed conflict."
- Second, to materialize the "Immediate humanitarian measures for the search, location, identification and dignified delivery of remains of missing persons in the context of the internal armed conflict ...".
- And third, to define the "Plan to strengthen the search, location, identification and dignified delivery of the remains of missing persons."
Compliance with these obligations is certainly critical to achieving solutions to the problems of victims, provided the agreed won’t remain scattered in the field of sterile promises and will be accompanied by sensitivity, responsibility and respect for the given word and for the proposals and initiatives of those affected, which means ensuring its role in implementing designs, procedures and goals.
When the Agreement on confidence-building measures was signed, the Government and the FARC-EP, among other things, pledged to strengthen institutional capacities and participation of victims in the search, location, identification and dignified return of the remains of missing persons.
In this regard, we agreed to ask the Commission for the Search Missing Persons, to build a plan within six (6) months, with recommendations in order to achieve that purpose, for which the participation of victims' organizations, specialized in human rights, was convened. And it is precisely to receive the results of this laudable work that we are gathered today.
This task becomes especially significant if we remember that according to the data handled by the Attorney General's Office in Colombia, there are more than 50,000 people missing due to conflict-related causes. According to the data from the Commission for the Search of Missing Persons, at least 47.757 cases are attributed to activities by the security forces and paramilitaries. And conclusions of the Report "2014 Humanitarian situation" by the International Committee of the Red Cross, there are 72.000 cases of people we don’t know anything about. In turn, the governmental National Registry of Victims speaks of 45.799 direct victims of enforced disappearance.
With reference to the above information, a first assessment is that this humanitarian drama has reached unimaginable proportions, and so far there hasn’t been sufficient state action for an effective search, identification and return in dignifying conditions. And we're talking about a total number of victims that exceeds the sum of the dictatorships of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil together, which during Operation Condor sowed terror in Latin America during the decade of the 70s and 80s of the past century.
In the case of Colombia, in 80% of the cases there are no ongoing investigations, and in turn 85% of the investigated cases has been filed, configuring a scenario of unprecedented impunity. It is a political, ethical and humanitarian obligation to end enforced disappearances, the impunity that has surrounded it, and the suffering of the relatives of the disappeared, ensuring the possibility to recover their loved ones and thereby close their grief and ease their suffering. In this way we must also investigate NN cemeteries, ossuaries and mass graves, and carry out other actions at a national level that will allow to meet the expectations of all relatives.
Such has been the commitment of the FARC-EP since the beginning of the current peace talks, and we really hope that the clamor and the struggle of the victims eventually are met by the Colombian state, and that in these circumstances it has been made possible for government and FARC-EP to establish a commitment and deliver information leading to the location and identification of the remains of victims, whose whereabouts are known, and to contribute to the decent delivery thereof, taking into account the will of the family, respecting their beliefs and rites.
To achieve these objectives, it is essential to include the participation of social and human rights organizations that have vindicated the memory of the disappeared and for years have demanded their appearance to the State, if possible alive. This is about knowing the truth and ending "impunity".
We want these first measures to contribute to the clarification of this crime against humanity and serious violations of human rights. In this regard, the recommendations made by the Delegation of Victims that is visiting us today should not represent the final moment of their participation, but the beginning of their active presence in a comprehensive process of reparation, reconciliation and non repetition that will allow to find, if possible, the victims of enforced disappearance alive.
Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP
Today, 15 March, is the National Day for Dignity of Victims of State Crimes. Colombian human rights organizations, victims and civil society associations have called on people to demonstrate in several cities.
In their call, the organizers ask the Colombian State guarantees for non-repetition and underline the new wave of murders and harassment community leaders and human rights defenders are subjected to, as well as a surge in paramilitary activities in the country. The organizers also call on the need to create a High Level Commission for the guarantee of non-repetition to be created in Havana, where Peace talks are underway.
This morning in Bogotá (Plaza de Bolívar) the organizers will hand out a document addressing both the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the Havana Peace Talks, denouncing the recent wave of attacks and murders and expressing proposals for assuring non-repetition of State crimes.
Other demonstrations will be taking place in Medellin (Plazoleta de la Dignidad and La Alpujarra) and Caldas (at 5pm, Plazoleta del Palacio de Justicia de Manizales).
More information can be found here: #PazSonGarantías
Today’s events are organized by:
Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de Estado –Movice
Unión Patriótica –UP
Congreso de los Pueblos
Movimiento Social y Político Marcha Patriótica
Plataforma Colombiana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo
Juventud Comunista Colombiano –JUCO
Coordinación Colombia Europa Estados Unidos
Asociación de Zona de Reservas Campesinas –Anzorc
Rebeldía Estudiantil Organizada
Partido Comunista Colombiano
Federación de Estudiantes Universitarios FEU
Campaña Contra la Brutalidad Policial
Asociación Colombiana de Objetores de Conciencia –ACCOC