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Statement FARC-EP on partial agreement illicit drugs

Havana, Cuba, May 16, 2014. End of round 25 of the peace talks.

A new partial agreement on the third topic under discussion, "Solution to the problem of illicit drugs," has just been manufactured at the peace talks in Havana, shortening distances to the goal of peace in Colombia.

This has been a complex job, for the final solution of the problem lies in other powerful nations, because of the prohibition policy, which only worsens the problem; because of the absurdity of maintaining the current policy of the failed war on drugs when it already has received a death certificate by human intelligence; because of the fear of a dependent country to adopt a sovereign policy, without waiting for the empire's approval to decide on courses of action; because of the demon of fumigation, which until now has dragged the government to persist in forced eradication; because of the CIA's involvement in the business, from which it raises funds for covert campaigns; because of money laundering - derived from drug trafficking - by U.S. and European banks, because of the concentration of punitive action on the weakest links in the chain and the total complicity by Colombian authorities with corrupt Colombian bankers, who inject criminal drug money into the financial circuits without anyone disturbing them.

On this subject - as with the issues related to land and political participation, too - there remained pending issues or caveats, which must be addressed and resolved, either before signing an eventual final agreement or letting the sovereign settle the disagreements, within the framework of a National Constituent Assembly.

These caveats are the following:

1. New criminal policy. In the process of redefining the anti-drug policy, a new criminal state policy should be designed, which should focus its efforts on the persecution and imprisonment of the main beneficiaries of the illicit drug market, as well as on the dismantling of transnational trafficking and money laundering networks. The FARC-EP insists on the creation of the "Commission for the design of a democratic and participatory national anti-drug policy", with working groups of academics and experts to formulate general guidelines for the new criminal justice policies in this area. Especially at a moment in which the whole country questions the legal system.

2. Immediate suspension of aerial spraying with glyphosate and integral reparation of victims. The FARC-EP considers that in development of the general guidelines of the new drug policy, we should proceed with the immediate suspension of aerial spraying with glyphosate, or any other chemical agent, and with full compensation for its victims. This implies:

  •  Identification of victims of aerial spraying with chemicals.
  •  Full compensation of victims of aerial spraying with chemicals.
  • Creation of a fund for victims of aerial spraying with chemicals.

In short, the old system of forced eradication/fumigation has failed, generating enormous environmental and social damage, which means that alternatives should be sought urgently.

3. About point 4.2.:

Recognizing the importance of the agreement on this sub-point, the FARC-EP considers it necessary to define the commitment on structural transformation of the public health system, which allows framing the development of the program and plans.

4. About point 4.3.:

The FARC-EP believes it is necessary, after consulting the conversation Table, to hold a National Conference on sovereign policy to combat drugs, in order to progress in policy adjustments and in the action this struggle requires, considering international trends that focus on human rights when faced with the phenomenon of production, consumption and marketing of illicit drugs.

One of the main tasks of this National Conference should be to analyze and draw conclusions on the issue of trade and production of illicit drugs as a phenomenon which is linked to paramilitarism. The Conference should also address the issue of the relationship between conflict, drug trafficking and its impact on institutions.

This morning, Timoleón Jiménez and Nicolás Rodríguez, comandantes of the FARC and ELN, announced to the country a unilateral cease-fire, addressing the growing clamor from various sectors of society, who wanted an election without the sounds of combat. This truce temporarily commits the offense, but the defense will be used in case of enemy approach to guerrilla positions. The decision of the insurgency is a great contrast to the stubborn attitude of the government who denies the possibility of a bilateral cease-fire, which undoubtedly would surround peace talks with a positive atmosphere. It is incomprehensible; nobody understands the gibberish behind which the government is hiding to explain the unexplainable. Where do the president and his defense minister get their preposterous thesis from, that if they pact a bilateral truce, they would be causing the prolongation of the conflict, which would only intensify military operations and hinder the progress of the talks? It's time the government recovered the logic of their ideas on this subject, and understood that this is not a process of subjugation, but a political process that seeks to find a political solution to half a century of conflict, through political, economic and social transformations that benefit the excluded majority.

We have proposed to convene and to hold a National Constituent Assembly as an essential component of building a Final Agreement. This proposal must be understood in all its complexity. Certainly, it is a suitable mechanism for the countersignature of the agreement and also to find a way out to essential matters that couldn't be agreed at the talks. If the pending points, which we have qualified as caveats in the Partial Agreements, cannot be resolved at the talks, they should not be an obstacle for finding a final agreement. We have the willingness to submit them to the sovereign will of the primary constituent.

The Assembly enables the required social appropriation and the legitimacy of the results of dialogue with a broad social and popular participation. But it goes much further. This is not a simple pact between classes to design a new constitutional order and enable new legal developments. This is not our ultimate goal. We see it as a necessary station, whose moments and content will be marked not only by our debate, but also by the dynamics of the national crisis at all levels and the constitutional process underway, which is being developed in the middle of mobilization and popular struggle, and of which we are part.

We are aware of the transforming power of the current historical moment. We work with all our efforts to help unleashing it. Therefore, we are in Havana, doing our best to reach a Final Agreement that provides new possibilities to the full exercise of politics.

Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP

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