LatinNews Daily - 29 March 2021

US Congress asked to pressure Colombia over peace process

Colombia: On 23 March Rodrigo Londoño (‘Timochenko’), the former leader of the demobilised Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc) guerrilla group and current leader of the Comunes political party, wrote to the US Congress urging it to pressure Colombia’s President Iván Duque to uphold the 2016 peace agreement between the Farc and the Colombian government. Londoño highlighted the impunity surrounding the murder of former Farc members and social leaders, warning that “each day that passes without deploying institutional efforts to implement the Peace Agreement pushes Colombia further into the tenuous conditions of violence that have marred generations of Colombians”. He added that the Duque government’s inaction is causing violence, poverty, and drug trafficking to increase. Londoño called for urgent action to end impunity for the killers of demobilised guerrillas and human rights defenders; secure the impartiality of the transitional justice system; and increase the presence of the Colombian state in rural areas, where he said that economic opportunities could be created by providing land for peasant farmers and former guerrillas. In response to the letter, Duque’s advisor on stabilisation and consolidation, Emilio José Archila, said that the government’s programme for reintegrating former Farc militants into society has been “phenomenal”. Archila added that the killing of former guerrillas decreased by 10% in 2020, and that the government has “respected the autonomy and independence of the transitional justice system”.

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