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Monday, 13 March 2017 00:00

Precariousness, Corruption and Insecurity in Transitional Zones

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Denounces regarding the Government’s non-compliance with the Peace Agreement are still coming out; in addition to the precarious conditions in which the Transitional Local Zones for Normalization are at (in which FARC-EP guerrillas are grouped in order to comply with reincorporation and decommissioning of weapons process), there has been presence of Colombian Armed Forces near these Zones, which is a direct violation to the ceasefire protocols.

Likewise, the high costs of food, the lack of care for pregnant and lactating mothers and their babies, and the lack of materials to continue the construction of homes have been reported.

In a recent press conference, the FARC delegation said that there is an 80% lack of compliance on part of the Government in these Transitional Zones. These are the most recent situations that have occurred in some of the zones in which the members of this guerrilla group are located.

Tumaco

Through a statement, FARC guerrilla spokespersons located at the Ariel Aldana Transitional Zone, said that 3 boats of the National Navy were located "on the river bank and shipped non-identified elements".

This event violates the protocols, given that according to the agreement on the Transitional Zones, Armed Forces are not to enter within a 1 kilometer distance from these Zones where the insurgency is grouped in order to avoid incidents between military forces and members of the FARC.

Icononzo

345 FARC-EP members currently live in this Temporary Zone (Antonio Nariño), of which 39 are ill, including a pregnant mother. According to the denunciation of several social organizations of the region that have been monitoring this process, there currently are no minimum decent living conditions for these insurgents that are in reincorporation process.

According to the president of the agrarian union of Icononzo, "the children of the guerrillas are sleeping in some huts in bad conditions, conditions that show the negligence of the government in the guarantee of the rights of children and adolescents".

Caqueta

Jhon Chavarro, a human rights defender in Caqueta said that on March 8 while participating in an activity commemorating the International Women's Day in the Agua Bonita Temporary Zone, several men of the National Army were seen with recording devices recording all those who were present at the scene.

"With cell phone cameras and cameras that are incorporated into their helmets, we observed how members of the Public Force began to record. They took pictures of motorcycle license plates".

In spite of this, the people who decided to accompany this commemoration at the Temporary Zone stayed for the event. Nevertheless, when leaving this zone, the human rights defender, Jhon Chavarro was victim of irregular behavior on the part of the military.

"At 8 p.m. when I left the Transitional Zone, the military stopped and interrogated me. I was asked four times if I had any guerrilla family. Then they asked for my name and documents [take into account that this procedure is exclusive of Police, military forces don’t have that duty and much less to harass the community]. They registered me and I am making this of public knowledge, taking into account the high number of murders that social leaders have suffered all across the country "concluded Chavarro

The provision prices for the Transitional Zones are too high

In addition to all these situations, another one is taking place and it almost seems unbelievable: the prices that are charged to the State by the contractor suppliers are much higher than the average market prices.

This complaint was made in a press conference by Pastor Alape, Marcos Calarca and Carlos Antonio Lozada, [FARC-EP Delegates] who asserted that the products they bought while they were at war were much lower.

In the invoice that was published by Semana Magazine, the high prices of products are shown, a pound of coffee of 500 grams, for example, is at 14 thousand pesos [5 dollars] and a trisalsina seasoning of 200 grams is $ 25 thousand [9 dollars].

The above mentioned is a classic form of corruption in which the suppliers that the State hires overcharge the State and then the over-cost is divided between the suppliers and the government officials who helped to grant of the contract to these specific supplyers.

Source: Contagio Radio

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