FARC Commander Ivan Marquez delivers speech to EU Parliament

by O.C. | 30th January 2016 7:52 pm

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We publish here the full text of the speech delivered by FARC-EP Commander and Negotiator Ivan Marquez at the European Parliament from Havana (Cuba) on 28 January 2016.

The text both in English and Spanish can be found on the FARC-EP Peace Delegation website[1]


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP wish to warmly greet from Havana (Cuba) the members of the European Parliament, the peoples and governments they represent with the hope that we could soon reach peace in Colombia.
Since November 2012 the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) are holding peace talks in Havana with the firm objective to put an end to the over 60 years long conflict, the longest conflict in the Western hemisphere.
So far we have reached four partial agreements to date: Integral Rural Reform, Political Participation, New anti-drugs policy, and in the context of the huge issue of Victims we have agreed an Integral System for Truth, Justice, Compensation and non-Repetition. We are also already discussing the final point, End of Conflict and we are about to discuss the analysis of the 6th Point of the Agenda on Implementation, Verification and Referendum.
We are progressing on the agreements on CHHBD, putting arms beyond use, incorporation of FARC guerrillas into civil life as to the economic, social and political spheres are concerned, the revision of the situation of people deprived of their freedom, safety guarantees, investigation of the phenomenon of paramilitarism, while the crucial issue of institutional reforms and adjustments to face the challenges of building peace remains to be discussed.
We should remember that, while talks are going on, the FARC have maintained a unilateral ceasefire position which, as a consequence of the conflict-reducing measures agreed with the government, has turned into a de facto bilateral ceasefire which for its characteristics provides the conditions for its effective verification and formalization.
Within this context, and in a complementary way, agreements have been reached on the de-contamination of the territory from explosives artefacts as well as immediate initiatives for the search of people disappeared during the conflict (over 60 thousands, according to the Attorney); and actions to ensure minors are kept at the margin of war.
Another big step towards peace has been made on 25 January, when – following a request by the parties – the UN Security Council unanimously and quickly approved Resolution 2261/2016 on Special Political Mission (composed by observers from countries from the CELAC) which will monitor and observe the CFHBD and verify the process of putting arms beyond use when this is agreed.
The Integral System on Truth, Justice, Compensation and non-Repetition puts together and interrelates all of the elements International Law signals has unalienable rights of Victims, while at the same time fighting impunity. The System is composed by the Commission for Truth, Coexistence and Non Repetition; the special Unit for the search of people said to have disappeared in the context and because of the armed conflict; the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and agreements on integral compensation and Guarantees of Non-Repetition.
On this, and with no doubts, the agreement  which generated the highest expectations has been that on Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), because it deals with the establishment of a Jurisdiction which will have to establish where responsibilities lie in this long and bloody armed conflict; helps to strengthen and make peace an irreversible process; peace meaning the synthesis  right of all fundamental rights of people, because without a strong peace a full and integral enjoyment of human rights is not possible.  The Special Jurisdiction puts the Right to Truth at the apex of all the devised system.
The Special Jurisdiction creates a model to deliver exceptional and alternative justice as its highest aim is establish the truth on what happened in order to prevent horror from happening ever again. Establishing responsibilities implies reconciliation with victims. By prioritizing compensation sanctions – which imply personal work on the side of the sanctioned to ensure economic and social compensation to the victimized groups – an important step is taken to end the trend of not complying with the content of the peace agreements.
The Jurisdiction contemplates both compensation and restorative sanctions (prison sentences up to 20 years are devised for those who by not recognizing the truth are beaten in court notwithstanding the appropriate defence guarantees).
For the first time in a peace agreement in our country, non fighters, civilians, politicians, businessmen, land owners, and others are imposed assumption of responsibilities should they have actively participated in the conflict even though not wearing arms of uniforms. The FARC-EP expressed their satisfaction in pushing through the integral justice system which aims to end impunity in Colombia once and for all, and which is in the condition to demand responsibilities to those who, having made of war a huge source of trade and wealth, have never taken responsibility, nor political or juridical, for their actions.
It is necessary to ensure that the causes of conflict will never appear again, in order to ensure that the Peace Agreement we will sign would not be a simple parenthesis in our tragic history, but indeed the beginning of a lasting period of reconciliation and prosperity.
Events like those occurred between the failed peace process brought about by the FARC-EP and the Government in the ‘80s, which led to the extermination of over 5 thousands members of the Union Patriotica, are unacceptable. This is why it is essential to reform the State Security Doctrine, incorporating new paradigms of Human Safety, so to put and end to the idea of the enemy within and its violent paramilitary tool.
The EU has announced the establishment of a fiduciary Fund to contribute to peace in Colombia. We welcome and appreciate this supportive decision.
Peace in Colombia is expecting much from the EU. We believe the most just and consistent gesture to help the search for peace would be to scrap the FARC-EP from the list of terrorist organizations, as quick as we were put in it. This would take away a serious obstacle to normalization of Colombian political life and would ensure the process of reintegration of former rebel fighters into civil life.
We are committed to peace. With strong international support to the process we have no doubts that we will reach peace as a higher human purpose. Peace, with every Colombian man and woman and for every man and woman in Colombia.
2016 must be the year of peace in Colombia.

  1. the FARC-EP Peace Delegation website: http://farc-epeace.org/

Source URL: https://globalrights.info/2016/01/farc-commander-ivan-marquez-delivers-speech-to-eu-parliament/