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  • Jesus Santrich, now issued with an arrest warrant.

    Jesus Santrich, now issued with an arrest warrant. | Photo: Resumen Latinoamerican

Published 22 August 2019

Santrich helped negotiate the 2016 peace agreements which many say are breaking down due to the state not meeting its obligations.  

Interpol have officially issued a red notice for the arrest of FARC leader Jesus Santrich, following his no-show at a scheduled court appearance in Colombia, and failure to inform authorities of his whereabouts. Santrich helped negotiate the 2016 peace agreements which many say are breaking down due to the state not meeting its obligations.  

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While at a FARC reintegration camp in the municipality of La Paz on the 29th of June, Santrich abandoned his security detail, provided to him following his release from prison in June. Santrich did not inform his party of his actions and gave little indication of his motives which has caused concern for the future of Colombia’s peace agreements.

Though at the time of his disappearance he was not a fugitive, and within his rights to not inform the state of his whereabouts, he did nevertheless had to present himself by July 9th for a court hearing. 

There have long been concerns about the mistreatment Santrich suffered while he was in jail, as well as the possibility of extradition to the U.S. and possible threats to his life, due to the fact that over 160 FARC members have been killed since Colombia’s peace agreements were signed in 2016.

Amid worries that his disappearance may end up damaging Colombia’s peace agreements. A FARC statement at the time of his disappearance read: “We remain convinced that this [peace agreements] is the correct path, and for that reason, we maintain and will continue to maintain our firm commitment to peace ...any personal or group decision that deviates from what was agreed in the Peace Agreements, signed with the Colombian Government in 2016, goes against our political line and is therefore only representative of those who make such decisions [against the agreements]"

Since the FARC and the government signed the accords, cartels and paramilitaries - some with links to the state - have killed over 160 FARC members and at least 627 social activists. FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño said that it is the state which is blocking the realisation of true peace.

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