Colombia ex-Farc rebel Iván Márquez issues call to arms

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FARC-EP

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The video reveals Iván Márquez studying out his call to arms

A former commander within the Farc rebel group in Colombia, Iván Márquez, has referred to as on his followers to take up arms lower than three years after the rebels signed a peace settlement with the federal government.

Iván Márquez appeared in a video in military fatigues and carrying a gun.

He introduced {that a} “new phase of the armed struggle” was starting.

He was one of many important negotiators of the peace deal and his announcement is a heavy blow to the peace course of.

What does the video present?

It reveals Iván Márquez studying out a press release in entrance of a banner saying “While there is a will to fight, there’ll be hope of winning”.

He is surrounded by a few dozen women and men wearing camouflage. Among them are two different senior former Farc rebels, Jesús Santrich, and the person referred to as El Paisa.

In his 30-minute-long assertion, Iván Márquez says that he referred to as for a return to arms as a result of the Colombian state had “betrayed” the peace settlement he helped negotiate.

“In two years, more than 500 social leaders have been killed and 150 guerrilla fighters are dead amidst the indifference and the indolence of the state,” he says referring to the excessive variety of activists and former Farc members killed since President Iván Duque took up workplace.

In the recording, Iván Márquez additionally says that the brand new guerrilla group, which carries the previous identify, Farc-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army), will pursue totally different ways.

He says that group will solely “respond to offensives” and that they won’t perform kidnappings for ransom however as a substitute “seek dialogue” with native landowners and enterprise folks to try to persuade them to “contribute” to their trigger.

The video ends with Jesús Santrich shouting “Long live the Farc-EP!”

Who is Iván Márquez?

Iván Márquez is the nom-de guerre of Luciano Marín Arango. He was the quantity two within the Farc rebel motion earlier than the guerrilla group signed a peace cope with the Colombian authorities in 2016.

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Getty Images

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Iván Márquez (left) was the primary negotiator for the Farc and signed the peace deal in November 2016

He was a key determine within the peace negotiation which led to the signing of a peace deal in November 2016, main the Farc negotiating workforce for the 4 years the talks lasted.

As a part of the peace course of, the Farc become a political social gathering and was assigned plenty of seats in Colombia’s congress.

Iván Márquez was assigned one of many Farc’s 5 seats within the senate. But days earlier than he was due to take up his put up in July 2018, he introduced he wouldn’t accomplish that in protest on the arrest of his Farc comrade, Jesús Santrich.

He went into hiding shortly afterwards and his solely public look was in a video launched in January.

In that video, he accused the Colombian authorities of failing to implement the agreements reached with the Farc and mentioned he felt “disheartened”. But on the time, he mentioned he was nonetheless dedicated to peace.

How important is the brand new video?

It has been clear since he gave up his senate seat and went into hiding final yr that Iván Márquez’s dedication to the peace deal was wavering.

The identical applies to Jesús Santrich, a former Farc rebel turned Congressman who failed to present up to court docket over drug smuggling costs in July.

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Reuters

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Jesús Santrich was briefly a Congressman representing the Farc political social gathering earlier than he was arrested and later launched

However, their announcement of a “new phase in the armed conflict” is far more harmful than their earlier “disillusionment” with the implementation of the peace course of.

It can be possible to enhance criticism of the transitional justice system created as a part of the peace deal.

Those who’ve warned that the Farc couldn’t be trusted and that their leaders ought to have been jailed will really feel vindicated.

Is the Farc again now?

Many would argue it has by no means fully gone away. While the group’s leaders signed a peace deal and nearly 7,000 of their fighters handed of their weapons, there have been teams of dissidents which by no means stood down.

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Media captionTake a glance inside a Farc rebel camp earlier than they group disarmed

The variety of dissidents is tough to estimate, however the determine cited in a leaked navy doc earlier this yr was 2,300.

Some of those dissidents by no means laid down their weapons, others have returned and but others are new recruits. But to date, they’ve been scattered across the nation in dozens of small teams.

Tuesday’s video displaying 4 former influential commanders might be an indication that these teams are becoming a member of forces and can once more act as one rebel group.

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Media captionFormer Farc rebels change into eco-warriors to cease deforestation within the Amazon