What happened to the Colombian peace process

Difficult peace process in Colombia : The late confession of the Farc rebels

It is well known that in war the truth is always the first victim. All the more courageous and remarkable is the way the formerly largest guerrilla organization in Latin America dealt with its own role in the decades of civil war in Colombia. This week, Farc boss Rodrigo Londono, formerly known as Timochenko, admitted many uncomfortable truths.

The subject of forced abortions, to which pregnant guerrilla fighters were urged, is particularly sensitive: "I did not understand why this happened," said Londono. "You have to recognize that as a crime."

In the past there have been reports of forced abortions in the ranks of the Farc, as well as the abuse of women fighters by high-ranking commanders. The background to these measures was apparently that the guerrillas should continue to be available as fighters and should not turn out as mothers.

So far, the guerrillas have always rejected this as propaganda. Just like the forced recruitment of child soldiers, which Londono now also admitted.

Regarding the practice of kidnappings with which the FARC extorted money from the poor rural population for armed struggle, a letter from FARC leaders said: “We can imagine the deep pain and agony of the sons and daughters of those who were killed by the Farc were kidnapped. "

A serious mistake

This was a serious mistake that only left injuries in the soul of those affected and at the same time damaged the credibility and legitimacy of the FARC. In a radio interview, Londono also said that there would be further explanations in the future that would cause a stir.

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With this relentless billing, the FARC makes advance payments to find the truth. The long-time Farc hostage and former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt had previously urged the guerrillas to admit their responsibility.

The chairman of the Truth Commission, Father Francisco De Roux, welcomed the FARC's statements. This opens the doors to the truth of the conflict. With the truth, the Farc gains a degree of legitimation that it has never had before, so De Roux. Forgiveness, however, cannot be forced from the victims.

Pressure on the right camp

At the same time, the FARC increased the pressure on the camp of the former conflict opponent around President Alvaro Uribe. After all, after its disarmament, the FARC is now also fulfilling a second essential part of the peace process: it is making a significant contribution to establishing the truth.

In large parts of Colombian society, the impression is growing that the FARC is delivering in the peace process, but the right-wing camp is not. The right-wing Uribe is accused of serious human rights violations in the fight against the FARC.

Uribe is said to have known at least about massacres against the civilian population and falsifying evidence. The army is said to have killed innocent civilians only to pass them off as guerrillas. The background to the murders were premiums for guerrillas killed.

Uribe has so far refused to take his part in responsibility and to testify about the incidents of the war. As a result, he is increasingly falling into political isolation in Colombia, apart from the hard core of his supporters.

Some fighters refuse to make peace

In November 2016, after four years of negotiations, the government of then President Juan Manuel Santos signed a peace agreement with the country's largest rebel organization. It ended the civil war that had lasted more than 50 years.

The disarmed Farc is now a political party in parliament. However, some of their fighters today refuse to participate in the peace process and continue the armed struggle. They are accused of being deeply involved in the drug trade.

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