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News from Havana, Cuba

Find here the latest news reports from the peace process, straight from Havana, Cuba. Permanently updated. 
Thursday, 05 October 2017 14:20

Implementation: Where we are

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We have come to the National Capitol to tell the nation and the world the voice of discontent and protest of the members of the FARC who have stepped into legality, who survive in the Zones and Territorial Spaces, hopeful about peace despite the non-compliance or half-compliance of government commitments at all levels of implementation; especially in matters of legal, physical or personal security, and socio-economic security.

And we want to stress that in this last aspect, there is no land where to advance the productive projects necessary for subsistence.

We have fulfilled the commitments and what is needed is that the government fully complies with its commitments. We have acted in good faith, and every time we take significant steps, the Attorney General of the Nation doesn’t miss the opportunity to threaten, as you know, judicial actions, for everyone to tremble, and this is evidently done in concert with the embassy of the United States and certainly with the acquiescence of sectors of the coalition government.

In this context I would like to affirm that Colombia has international obligations to fulfill as a result of the signing of the Havana Peace Agreement. Let me remind you that by depositing such an important document before the Council of the Swiss Federation in Berne, it acquires the connotation of Special Agreement in the area of IHL and human rights law, because nothing is more humane than stopping a war. And because this is a fundamental issue in defining the fate of Colombia, we will ask the ICRC's legal office in Switzerland to ask what is the scope of the special agreements and what should be the attitude of the governments that have signed it.
On the other hand, and in the same spirit, we recall that the aforementioned Havana Agreement was presented by the Government of Colombia to the UN Secretary-General through the instrument of a unilateral Declaration of State, in which the latter is obliged to comply with what has been agreed.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are really faced with an international obligation by the State, but it seems that this is not relevant for many members of the institution.

Since the Agreement was signed, a year ago, its normative development was used to renegotiate what was agreed in Havana, to change the meaning of what had been agreed. Pacta Sunt Servanda! Enough of those pretensions. What has been agreed has to be fulfilled.
We negotiated in Havana with the Government, which is supposed to do it in the name of the State; thus what has to follow is the harmonious coordination of the powers so that the spirit of the agreement is not affected.
Here, everybody has put hands to the agreements, more for bad than for good: not only some congressmen who come with noxious last-minute occurrences, but also magistrates, representatives of the executive and the Prosecutor, who, for example, has denied the establishment of the Special Unit for the fight against paramilitarism of point 74 of the JEP. That unit is subsidiary, it only acts if Public Prosecutor's Office doesn’t and the PP has in its hands some 15 thousand cases related to paramilitarism, but it keeps them sleeping. We do not want third parties involved in the conflict to remain forever sheltered under the mantle of impunity.
They are also bound to help truth. The constitutional reform to achieve the full realisation of this unit is a commitment that the Government could not leave aside.

Some begin to speak of deception and government fraud to their counterpart. All the time the Prosecutor is looking for our fall and legal paperwork to make the reconciliation of Colombia unviable. Stop that, stop extending the judicial trap in which you seek to catch and immobilize collective dreams of peace.
Given the crisis of the Ius Puniendi or the capacity of the State to judge and punish, and before the generalized discredit of the Prosecutor and the judicial branch of public power, it is time for the JEP to start: this is the time for transformations, so that the institutions could be led by honest people who could return to the country confidence in the State.

We must establish the causes and those responsible for the difficult ordeal of confrontation. There is no need to fear the truth. The truth heals the wounds of the soul caused by the long conflict, and without this healing it will not be possible to find reconciliation. Hence the importance of opening the way to such instances as the Truth Commission and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace that are designed in a perspective of justice without revenge and restoration of the social fabric.
Luckily, some in the Congress have assumed the boycott of the statutory law of the JEP, without realising that they are thus opening the doors to the ICC, when we had already given priority to the National Margin of Appreciation, so that on the base of our history, customs, geography, for knowledge of the origin of the conflict, we looked for exits that would ensure our future of peace.

But the problems are not only with the JEP. Although the congress in full and by a large majority endorsed the agreements and activated the possibilities for theirs normative implementation as a constituent derivative in representation of the people, today there are sectors of the congress that seek to block and obstruct the just aspirations raised in the agreements.
We can point out some clear examples. There are congressmen who aspire to sink the political reform that is the cardinal aspect of the reincorporation and to limit as much as possible the norms of citizen participation and of guarantees to the social protest.
The people of the territories cannot be victimized once again by eliminating the municipal heads of the special circumscriptions of peace. The titling of land to the peasants became a legend and has been obstructed by the inveterate and irrational Santaranderism that uses the rule not to solve the problems but to make them worse and by a heavy and sleepy bureaucracy that, while benefiting the latifundio, alone knows how to worship and compliment the de facto powers and paperwork and endless paperwork when dealing with peasants and rural people.

The substitution of illicit crops, despite the FARC's in-depth accompaniment in the difficult task of persuading and making substitution pedagogy, has not yielded the expected results because it occurred to the authorities to conjugate, at a bad time and at the wrong time, substitution with forced eradication, which, in addition to being contradictory, is more expensive than substitution itself.
We are sure that the implementation of substitution programs agreed with peasants, reinforced by respect for the rights violated by peasants since the founding of the republic, which has denied a dignified life to the countryside, can indicate the route of the termination of a phenomenon which has its roots in social and economic causes and that has to do with the absence of a true Comprehensive Rural Reform. But as we said, not only in Congress do they throw sticks at the peace wheel, because in the case of reincorporation, although there have been rules that would facilitate this process, such as amnesty, legal status for the new party, in the Constitutional Court everything continues in a state of uncertainty and in the institutional setting in general we have very delicate difficulties.

The non-compliances are as follows:
320 ex-guerrillas are still in prison. More than 700 remain imprisoned without accreditation. Suspensions of arrest warrants against members of FARC who have left their weapons have not materialised and they are still being held at police checkpoints because the cases have not been transferred to the corresponding databases.
Of the 540 guerrillas transferred to the Zones, as of today only 140 have been placed on parole. Although the last Presidential Decree of Amnesty of Iure has already been issued, there are many ex-combatants in areas that have not been included, and no individual resolutions have been issued to be handed over to the recipients of amnesty. During the drafting process of the JEP statutory law there has already been a de facto renegotiation with the Prosecutor. The bill submitted to Congress on September 26 includes several changes introduced by the Attorney General's Office, not agreed with the FARC, on budgets, on "dissidents" referring only to the FARC; incorporation of closures listed on August 15, contrary to what is established in the Final Agreement; The Interior Minister states that there is no majority to approve the statutory law in the Senate.

The Government's commitment is not to admit modifications contrary to the draft approved in CSIVI. The legal status of the zones is in stand by. Not only have the arrest warrants for extradition purposes not been suspended, but more people have been arrested on the basis of those requests.
We could point out to a number of breaches such as the ones mentioned above in security, information, victimization, differentiation of criminal treatment for those involved in crimes of poverty, as is the case of peasants growing coca leaves, or of activation of the international accompaniment, which is never summoned.
In addition to this panorama there is the uncertainty generated by the de-financing of the plans and programs derived from the Final Agreement. It should be said that it is regrettable that the Government does not commit itself to a serious fiscal effort that guarantees sufficient resources for implementation.
The Framework Plan envisaged by the establishment does not commit more than 0.7% of GDP to 15 years. Because the implementation is a real field in dispute that does not close with the completion of the Fast Track, now more than ever, faced with the difficulties and challenges, we must reaffirm that the only guarantee that the aspirations for peace will not be frustrated lies in the unity of the people, embracing the Havana Agreement.

In the midst of these difficulties we have become a political force ready to pick up the dreams of peace and also the accumulated discontent after successive governments that turned their back on the weakest.
From this position, a year after the extraordinary defense of the peace process by the masses of common people in the streets of Colombia, we now call for the defense of its implementation and to work together for the great National Political Agreement that will prevent the trumpets of the war from breaking once again the calm of national harmony.