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  HOME | Colombia (Click here for more)

Colombian Rebel Chief: Referendum Is Not Binding
In a video statement recorded in Havana, Timochenko said that the referendum by which Colombians rejected the peace accord between the government and the FARC “has no judicial effect whatsoever”

HAVANA – The referendum by which Colombians rejected the peace accord between the government and the FARC “has no judicial effect whatsoever,” the top leader of the guerrilla group said on Monday.

In a video statement recorded in Havana, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, better known by the nom de guerre “Timochenko,” said that “peace has come and it’s here to stay” because “it’s a constitutional right and duty that entails obligatory compliance that must prevail over hate and violence.”

In the polling held Sunday, the “No” option won by 50.21 percent against the 49.78 percent garnered by the “Si” vote. Turnout was less than 38 percent.

“Peace is a non-majority right because it is a right essential to human dignity. That is the position of the Constitutional Court, which also ruled in a recent sentence that the referendum has no judicial effect whatsoever,” Timochenko said.

He said the peace accord signed Sept. 26 in Cartagena has “undeniable and irrevocable judicial authority” because it was signed as a special treaty and filed with the Swiss Federation Council in Berne.

Timochenko reaffirmed on behalf of the FARC that the rebels remain “faithful to the accord” and that the “guerrilla fronts across the country will maintain the bilateral and definitive ceasefire as a necessary measure of relief for the victims of the conflict and in respect to the accord reached with the national government.”

He also said that the “warlike feelings of those who would sabotage the peace will never be stronger than the nation’s desire for peace, inclusion and social justice.”

Timochenko and members of the negotiating commission of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia at the peace talks in Havana are all still in the Cuban capital, which for four years has been the scene of negotiations to end Colombia’s internal conflict once and for all.

Members of the Colombian government’s negotiating delegation are expected to arrive in Havana in the coming hours, following the orders of President Juan Manuel Santos, who has asked that FARC negotiators be kept informed about the next steps the government will take to open a national dialogue on the peace process.

 

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