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News > Latin America

Retired General: Colombian Army Prepared to Fight FARC Holdouts

  • Retired Army Gen. Jorge Enrique Mora Rangel

    Retired Army Gen. Jorge Enrique Mora Rangel | Photo: EFE

Published 29 August 2016

The FARC leadership has said all its members are required to back the peace process and that dissidents cannot act in the name of the movement.

The Colombian armed forces will be ready to fight any FARC members who are against the final peace agreement signed in Havana, retired army Gen. Jorge Enrique Mora Rangel said Monday.

Colombia: FARC Announce Beginning of Definitive Ceasefire

Mora, who was a member of the government's negotiating team at the peace talks, said at a Bogota news conference that it is "possible" that a small contingent of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, rebels might continue to refuse to accept the final agreement.

He added that, so far, local authorities have received information that "a small group of FARC (members) have expressed disagreement" over the peace process.

It is expected that top FARC officials, who were part of the Havana peace talks, will resolve the problem, he said.

Nevertheless, Mora reiterated that the Colombian armed forces, the National Police, the national government and the Defense Ministry are closely monitoring the situation and will act as the circumstances warrant.

"The (armed) forces have clear plans to deal with the dissent," the retired general said.

The government's negotiating team on Monday came to the Presidential Palace in Bogota, the seat of the executive branch, to explain the details of last Wednesday's final peace agreement along with the bilateral and definitive cease-fire between the FARC and the government that commenced at midnight.

Key Challenges for Colombia’s Peace Process

In July, the former leadership of the Armando Rios First Front announced in July that they would not lay down their arms or demobilize under a potential peace deal with the government.

That announcement was met with a very sharp rebuke by the FARC leadership, which has repeated that all members are required to back the peace process and those who ignore this mandate cannot be said to be acting in the name of the guerrilla organization.

The FARC abides by the principles of democratic centralism, which asserts that all members are bound by the decision of the majority once taken. The leadership has been clear that all members are required to back the peace process.

The guerrilla organization said those opposing the peace process did not speak for the FARC and that the First Front was under the command of Comandante Gentil Duarte, who along with his high command, fully endorses the peace process.

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