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Colombia: FARC deserters return to armed struggle

According to analysts, the decision of Márquez and company is a strategy that should not be taken with such an announcement or importance

FARC commander Ivan Márquez, along with Jesús Santrich, reading the announcement that they will resume their insurgency

FARC commander known by alias Ivan Márquez, along with Jesús Santrich, reading the announcement that they will resume their insurgency once again. / Via REUTERS

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Leer en español: Colombia: desertores de las FARC vuelven a la lucha armada

Iván Márquez, Jesús Santrich, and El Paisa reappeared, when this morning and through a video they announced their return to the armed combat

Jesús Santrich, the former FARC commander who disappeared after leaving prison and leaving the security scheme provided by the State, despite being part of the Colombian Congress, appeared again in the morning hours.

He did it with Iván Márquez, whose whereabouts had not been known for a year; El Paisa, and several armed men and women and through a video, where Marquez is seen reading a manifesto where he states that “We announce to the world that the second Marquetalia (place where the FARC were born) has begun under the protection of universal right that assists all the peoples of the world to rise in arms against oppression."

In this way, Márquez announces that the revival and return to the armed struggle is mainly due to "the treason of the State in the peace agreements made in Havana", since the latter "has not fulfilled even the most important of its obligations: to guarantee the life of its citizens and, in particular, to avoid assassinations for political reasons”.

Advertising or Peace Agreement?

For several analysts, the decision of Márquez and company is a strategy that should not be taken with such an announcement or importance; taking into account that in this scenario the fact of achieving a path to peace and maintaining the guarantees left by the peace agreement is prioritized.

Faced with this, several people in the political sphere spoke through their social networks. Rodrigo Londoño, former guerrilla member alias Timochenko and president of the FARC political party, reaffirmed his commitment to peace and added that “Despite the obstacles and difficulties, we are convinced that the path of peace is the right one”.

Similarly, Humberto de la Calle, chief negotiator in Havana, and in statements to the press asked Colombians "to think about the victims of the future, those we tend to avoid." In addition, he noted that "the government's attacks on the peace process and the risks of legal destabilization that they entailed could lead several commanders to make the wrong decisions."

He also asked the government "to take the leadership of the peace process with decision and with the criteria of the State and stop acting with party criteria as it has done to date."

Faced with the foregoing, and until the moment of writing this article, the president of Colombia, Iván Duque has not ruled in this regard. However, the leader of the Democratic Center, Álvaro Uribe Vélez said on his Twitter account that "There was never peace but the pardon for those responsible for heinous crimes", and added that "the country has to think about quickly lowering those agreements with the Farc".

Read also: From coca to cocoa, Colombian farmers reinvent themselves

Are the 90s coming back?

Before the announcement of the return to the armed struggle, it was questioned whether Colombia would again be that of the years where the armed groups attempted against the population and against the forces of the State.

It should be remembered that the FARC dissidents only represent 25%. Although it may seem a high figure, remember that the guerrilla operates in 80 municipalities of the 300 that previously had control, according to figures revealed by the FM.

Similarly, there are no conditions for the new armed struggle to operate again as it did before. Today the state forces outnumber them, there are 500 thousand men, compared to the 2000 estimated dissidents.

What's coming

The role of the JEP will be crucial in making future decisions. For Miguel Ceballos, high commissioner for peace, the JEP must order to withdraw all rights to deserters and it is necessary for the agency to issue arrest warrants against Márquez, Santrich and El Paisa. He added that the Government will continue to work for peace.

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