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News > Colombia

FARC Fulfills Peace Accord Obligation, Recognizes Six Killings

  • FARC-EP embroidered patch is shown on the sleeve of a uniform.

    FARC-EP embroidered patch is shown on the sleeve of a uniform.

Published 3 October 2020
Opinion

The FARC has taken responsibility in the 1995 assassination of right-wing politician and presidential candidate, Alvaro Gomez Hurtado.

The demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP) has recognized its responsibility in the six killings, in fulfilment of its obligations under the 2016 Colombian Peace Accords.

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The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) informed on Saturday, October 3rd that its Truth and Responsibility Acknowledgment Chamber received a letter on behalf of the former FARC-EP Secretariat following a meeting held on September 25th, offering truth and clarification of the events that accrued and assuming responsibility in six cases.

The letter, received by the JEP on September 30th, is signed by Julián Gallo Cubillos, Pastor Lisandro Alape Lascarro and Pablo Catatumbo Torres Victoria, and their lawyers.

The JEP has stated that the content of that letter is already being processed in the Truth and Responsibility Acknowledgment Chamber.

The homicides to which the former group confessed, took place between 1995 and 2002: Alvaro Gómez Hurtado (November 2, 1995), Hernando Pizarro Leon-Gomez (February 25, 1995), Jose Fedor Rey (“Javier Delgado”) (June 30, 2002), Jesus Antonio Bejarano (September 15, 1999), Fernando Landazábal Reyes (May 12, 1998), and Pablo Emilio Guarín (November 15, 1987).

The most high-profile killing was that of right-wing politician and three-time candidate for the presidency, Alvaro Gomez Hurtado in 1995. Alvaro was the son of the Conservative leader and President, Laureano Gómez Castro.

In a statement published on the website of the FARC party, and signed by eight members, the FARC expressed its “unwavering commitment to peace in Colombia, with the victims and their families.”

The FARC’s publication, which coincided with the announcement by the JEP, elaborated on why the importance of acknowledging the crime and taking responsibility.

“Today, a few days after the 25th anniversary of this assassination, the members of the former secretariat of the extinct FARC-EP acknowledge to the Gómez Hurtado family, the country and the world that we are responsible for this fact. After many hours of individual and collective reflections, honoring our commitment to building a more just society founded on the foundations of the broadest and most complete truth possible, we have decided to clarify the facts and reasons for the murder of Álvaro Gómez Hurtado.”

“Before the JEP and the Truth Commission we will explain why Álvaro Gómez Hurtado was considered by our organization a military objective and a class enemy that represented those who had declared war on the young FARC-EP and why we all decided to silence this fact all of these years.”

The statement ended with an apology. “Today we know that our adversaries in war can be our allies in peace. Therefore, with humility and a deep sense of responsibility with future generations, we apologize to family, friends, partners and the entire country for having taken away from democracy and the peace of the country a man like Álvaro Gómez Hurtado.”

The formal recognition of these crimes before the JEP comes as former combatants of the extinct FARC guerilla continue to be killed at high rates, amid the failure of Ivan Duque’s government to implement the Peace Accord and provide protection to the involved parties of the Colombian conflict.

With this historic step taken by the former FARC guerilla, including current members of the FARC Party, there remain questions as to whether information on the crimes committed by other actors of the conflict will surface amid this process or if the truth will remain hidden.

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