A former leader of the former Colombian resistance movement FARC has, in a rare public appearance, strongly criticized the peace process in his country.
The process that started in 2016 led to the rebels giving up their armed struggles in exchange for seats in the South American Parliament.
Luciano Marin, aka Ivan Marquez, said in a YouTube film that 400 leaders of local communities and 85 former FARC fighters have been killed since the 2016 agreement with the Colombian government. “Two years later, the results of that agreement are baffling,” Marquez said in the video released by the Venezuelan state news agency AVN and screened at the Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin.
“At the time, we agreed to lay down our arms before anything was written about the political, economic and social integration of the FARC fighters,” says Marquez. At that time, there were 7,000 FARC fighters who laid down their arms as a result of the agreement with the government. There are still about 1,200 dissidents and supporters of the smaller resistance group of the National Liberation Army (ELN) active in the countryside. The conflict between FARC and the Colombian government cost the lives of 220,000 people, 80,000 are missing and 7 million people have been forced to flee their hometown.
Marquez had withdrawn from public life after he resigned as a senator in July. The reason for his resignation was the court ruling on another FARC commander, Seuxis Hernandez, alias Jesus Santrich, who was banned from acting as a senator because he was in custody.