HAVANA – The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group on Wednesday slammed a series of legislative measures that are backed by President Juan Manuel Santos and aimed at implementing a potential peace accord, saying they “violate” the agenda of the negotiations in Havana.
“Any initiative outside the agreed-upon agenda or previously reached accords would be the best way to throw overboard ... the work carried out by mutual agreement by both sides,” the FARC’s high command warned in a statement read to the media in Havana by the head of the insurgent group’s peace delegation, Ivan Marquez.
The FARC said the effort by Santos’ administration and some political sectors in Congress to push through legislative mechanisms for implementing a hypothetical peace accord was “capricious” and “unilateral.”
The rebels also reject the idea of a “special tribunal” for judging guerrilla members, a plan allegedly being contemplated as part of these initiatives.
In that regard, the rebels recalled that the justice mechanism being designed in the Havana talks “is not a criminal mechanism, but rather a Comprehensive Truth, Justice, Reparations and Non-Repetition System” for addressing accusations against both combatants and non-combatants.
None of the initiatives being pursued unilaterally by the government is binding on the FARC unless previously agreed in the peace talks, the guerrillas said.
Santos in recent days has backed the idea of creating a temporary legislative body – known as a “Congresito” and to be made up of legislators and a group of FARC delegates – to establish regulations implementing a potential peace accord with the guerrilla group.
In its first reaction to that proposal, however, the FARC criticized it as deviating from the “signed rules” for the peace process.
“With peace so close at hand, why push it away with unilateral actions?” the guerrilla group asked rhetorically.