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Saturday, 19 July 2014 00:00

We must achieve peace

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By Iv?n M?rquez, Member of Secretariat of the FARC-EP

Natalia Springer, columnist for the newspaper El Tiempo, in her article "How to end the peace process" refers to the peace talks from a complicated viewpoint that does not allow to see the light of reconciliation that many Colombians perceive in the horizon, as an opportunity that we cannot afford to waste.

Peace, as the most important of all rights and as a growing desire by the national majorities, cannot be jeopardized by the feelings of half of the citizens who vote in a country in which abstention generally triumphs; an abstention that attracts and brings together like a snowball the disbelief and disappointment of many people regarding their rulers.

?UN statistics attribute the responsibility of more than 80 percent of victimization to the State and its paramilitaries?

Amnesty and pardon, applied to political and related crimes are not a perversion, as Springer believes, but the product of centuries of jurisprudence. Rebellion is a legitimate right of peoples, enshrined in the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights of the UN. Two hundred years ago, the Liberator declared that, "The social man can conspire against any positive law that has bent his neck, protecting himself with the natural law". In Colombia, rebellion is the political crime par excellence, and it is precisely the political offense intended in its original entirety, i.e., with the so-called related offenses subsumed in it, contains the legal instruments that can clear the way to peace and reconciliation, of course with the necessary complement of the solution to the structural causes of the rebellion.

Therefore we say that we have not come to Havana to negotiate impunity. UN statistics attribute the responsibility of more than 80 percent of victimization to the State and its paramilitaries, in many cases through international crimes, characterized by being systematic and calculated, a circumstance that makes access to legal benefits difficult. Now, speaking about those most responsible, we must clearly state that the chain of command does not end with the General Staff of the Army and Police, but goes further to Narino Palace. The issue cannot be explained by the elites as the anomalous behavior of a few bad apples, when the orders to the armed forces came from the free will and premeditation of the powerful. Really, the problem of the victims of the conflict is a complex issue that cannot be resolved with groundless argument or sophistry.

?There are many people from high society, who wash their hands like Pilate when the subject of national violence and bloodshed is being discussed, although they carry the invisible, heavy burden of being the most responsible on their backs?

Meanwhile, Uribe V?lez, with skeletons in his closet, pretending he is totally oblivious of his status of most responsible, believes that there can't be peace with impunity. Involved with crimes against humanity, he has spent his time in obstructing justice, taking his bishops of crime, Luis Carlos Restrepo, Maria del Pilar Hurtado and aka "Uribito" out of the country to avoid their imprisonment. What most worries, is that regarding these notorious crimes, the judicial authority, frozen like a statue, doesn't do anything. It is as if the promoter of the "false positives" had a pact with the devil, in which no earthly authority can interfere. The myth of the Uribe-Houdini will have to finish.

It is urgent to launch the Historical Commission of the Conflict and its Victims to clarify the issue of responsibilities, so that its report, like a beacon, can illuminate the truth that the victims of the conflict are asking for. There are many people from high society, who wash their hands like Pilate when the subject of national violence and bloodshed is being discussed, although they carry the invisible, heavy burden of being the most responsible on their backs. Responsible are the political parties, the ideologists of paramilitarism as counterinsurgency strategy of the state, landowners, the farmers, generals, some banana and oil palm companies, some bankers, the narco-para-politics, force commanders, who devised the " false positives ", mass media, great instigator of the war, notorious cardinals of the church, implementers of neo-liberal policies that caused thousands of deaths and millions of poor people, the government of the United States which has intervened since the beginning directly in the conflict, and the insurgency, but on another level, not on the same level as the ones who created this war.

?As Colombians we don't have another choice than rectifying so many injustices and showing a collective spirit of reconciliation, because perpetual war cannot be our destiny?

Natalia, "the ones responsible for the horror are the ones who are currently representing us as a society". Don't be horrified by the hypothetical, but because of what you can see around you: a state captured by mobster powers and narco-paramilitary structures, the cancer of corruption, impunity, political exclusion, militarization of society, intolerance, mafia powers and structures, poverty and inequality, military occupation by a foreign power, a plundering of natural resources that could be used for social redemption of the country ...

This situation has to change. As Colombians we don't have another choice than rectifying so many injustices and showing a collective spirit of reconciliation, because perpetual war cannot be our destiny. To build peace, this country needs a consistent basis of social justice, democracy and sovereignty. Without the human feeling of understanding and forgiveness, there won't be peace. We'll have to banish revenge and hatred, exclusion and intolerance from our hearts. We will have to dedicate our major efforts and strength to the construction of peace, and make it accompany us for many future centuries.

Last modified on Saturday, 19 July 2014 17:01
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