Leaders of Colombia's Revolutionary Alternative Forces of the Commons (FARC) and ex-guerrillas from the Territorial Spaces of Training and Reincorporation (ETCR) are meeting in Bogota to discuss reintegrating into civilian life after more than 50 years of civil war.
The meeting is the first national conference of the ETCR, which have served as key spaces to assist former combatants in making the transition to post-war life.
"We are children of difficulty and we have the experience to overcome it: we continue on united and are not going to allow anything in the world to interrupt it," FARC President Rodrigo 'Timochenko' Londoño said in a message to the gathered leaders. "I believe the hardest has already passed."
El primer encuentro nacional de evaluación y balance colectivo al proceso de reincorporación de los ETCR es una oportunidad para cimentar la unidad y reafirmar nuestro compromiso con la paz.Somos hijos de las dificultades y tenemos experiencia en superarlas. #EncuentroETCR. pic.twitter.com/MtldT7cG1b— Rodrigo Londoño (@TimoFARC) April 7, 2018
Delegates from various reincorporation territories presented reports on problems they face, including water treatment and health access. The meeting concluded with a demand for greater knowledge of the management of resources designated by the state toward former soldiers' reintegration.
"As the FARC, we have the right to ask authorities about the management of resources involved in the implementation of the agreements," said Ivan Marquez, a FARC leader.
"Nos la vamos a jugar toda por la paz, a pesar de las grandes dificultades, este proceso es irreversible" @IvanMarquezFARC en el marco de la instalación del Primer Encuentro Nacional de los ETCR's en la ciudad de Bogotá.#UnaNuevaFormaDeHacerPolitica. pic.twitter.com/6ikb58lAMl— Rodrigo Londoño (@TimoFARC) April 6, 2018
Also participating in the event were officials from the United Nations, and ambassadors from Cuba and Norway.
The peace process has been beset by difficulties in recent months, as former guerrillas continue to face violence and threats. Londoño was forced to withdraw from the presidential race due to a combination of health problems and ongoing violence.
On Wednesday, FARC member Nelson Andres Urrego, a member of the reintegration program, was murdered. The FARC has ordered the government to launch an investigation into the murder.
En el Primer #EncuentroETRC, donde estamos realizando el balance a un año de la implementación del Acuerdo Final y el proceso de reincorporacion en lo político, social y económico, un grato encuentro con el compañero Fernando Bustos. pic.twitter.com/ecgQtqCwpZ— Rodrigo Londoño (@TimoFARC) April 7, 2018