Colombia’s FARC says 24 ex-combatants killed this year
BOGOTA – Agence France-Presse
Colombian former rebel movement FARC said 24 of its ex-combatants had been killed since the beginning of the year, sounding a warning over continued violence threatening Colombia’s fragile peace agreement.
The movement, which transformed itself into a political party last year after signing the agreement in 2016, said three of its members were killed last week in the country’s southwest while in the process of reintegrating into society.
In total “this is 24 killings of ex-combatants” since early 2018, according to the party’s count.
A total of 40 ex-FARC militants had been murdered since the agreement was signed, according to a report presented by President Juan Manuel Santos last week.
FARC has repeatedly criticized the government for failing to fulfill its commitments under the deal, particularly regarding protection of former rebels, their families and party activists.
It has voiced fears that extreme right-wing groups were targeting ex-FARC combatants with the complicity of government security forces.
FARC called on both candidates in the June 17 presidential runoff to ensure “the abolition of weapons in politics.”
“We are not going to allow the continued murder of those who have laid down their arms to enter in to legal political activity,” the group said.
Conservative Ivan Duque, who won May 27’s first round, has based his campaign largely on rewriting the deal on the grounds it was too lenient on former rebels who have waged a five-decade war of terror on Colombians.
His leftist rival Gustavo Pedro, a former member of the M-19 guerrillas, has defended the agreement.