BOGOTA – The head negotiator for the FARC rebels at the peace talks with the Colombian government said on Monday that last week’s clash in the central town of La Uribe was the result of a deliberate attack by soldiers and not a mistake, as claimed by officials.
“Military attack in Uribe was against unit that accompanied members of tripartite verification mechanism that was supposed to travel to Havana (the site of the peace talks),” said Ivan Marquez on Twitter.
“It wasn’t an error because the attack came with the certainty that the FARC would be at the site with a white flag,” Marquez said.
The tripartite mechanism is comprised of representatives selected by the government, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas and by an international political mission coordinated by the UN that will be made up of unarmed civilian experts from members countries of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Its task will be to verify the future bilateral and definitive cease-fire and the laying down of their arms by the rebels, which was agreed to by the two parties on June 23 but will not enter into force until the peace pact is signed.
The guerrillas’ chief negotiator commented after his Colombian government counterpart, Humberto de la Calle, called what occurred in La Uribe an “incident” provoked by the FARC because they had provided “mistaken coordinates.”
In addition, De la Calle said that after speaking with Marquez, the latter acknowledged to him that the guerrillas had made a “mistake in the coordinates.”
The controversy over the episode on Friday came less than a month after the parties signed an accord on the “End of the conflict” issue, including the bilateral cessation of hostilities.
That pact, signed in Cuba, is considered to be the forerunner to the signing of the final peace agreement, which Bogota and the FARC expect to ink in the coming weeks.