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  • Manuel Santos and Timonchenko at the signing of Colombia's Final Peace Accord in Bogota, Nov. 26, 2016

    Manuel Santos and Timonchenko at the signing of Colombia's Final Peace Accord in Bogota, Nov. 26, 2016 | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 November 2018

Rodrigo Londoño says peace accord progress has been 'very limited', calls on U.N. to 'ensure compliance with the agreement.'

The leader of the Alternative Revolutionary Forces of the Common (FARC) turned politician, Rodrigo Londoño, or Timochenko, is denouncing the government for its failure to protect ex-guerrillas, 84 of whom have been killed by paramilitaries since he signed the Final Peace Accord with former president Juan Manuel Santos two years ago.

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Timochenko, who signed the peace agreement on Nov. 26, 2016, with Santos in Bogota says that “progress has been very limited" regarding the implementation of the agreement. He ran for president during the 2018 elections under the FARC party, Alternative Revolutionary Forces of the Common, until health reasons forced Timonchenko to back out. He argues that the accords have hardly been implemented, especially in terms of "access to land." He is asking the head of the United Nations Mission in Colombia, Jean Arnault, to "ensure compliance with the agreement."

Specifically, Timochenko asks Arnault to provide "access to land for former guerrillas following the procedures already identified in the National Reintegration Council." The agreement outlines that the 7,000 guerrillas who laid down their arms will be provided with access to land and land titles. Colombia’s 50-year internal conflict resulted in at least 6.6 million hectares being illegally expropriated.

The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) or the Truth Commission component of the peace accords has also been limited in its scope and powers by President Ivan Duque.

"From the human point of view, it seems very important to have the opportunity to discuss with you, I think your presence in Congress is very important. I prefer a Colombian in Congress than in jail, I prefer it in Congress than in criminal activity, but I think that what happened has set a bad example," he said.

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Since Timochenko signed the accord, 84 former militants have been killed, mainly by the growing number of paramilitaries groups in rural areas working on behalf of extractive enterprises and narcotraffickers.  

The two most recent murders occurred in the departments of Meta and Nariño. Former FARC Sebastian Coy Rincon went missing Nov. 15 and his body was recently found in the rural municipality of Uribe, while Angel Aleyser Melendez was discovered dead in the village of El Tablon in Nariño.

Timochenko and other FARC party members have been requesting a meeting with Duque since Nov. 6, "in order to put real and concrete actions on the table" to stop the murders, which they attribute to "paramilitary groups."

Colombian rights group Research Institute for Development and Peace (Indepaz) reports that between November 2016 and May 2018, 385 rural activists and land rights leaders have been murdered, 11 of them at the hands of state security forces sent to these areas to protect the activists.

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