Iván Márquez: To the guerrillas in the ETCR and to all Colombians

It is time to raise our voices against the human pettiness of the system led by Uribe and the U.S. Embassy against the dream of peace of millions of souls who sought to end more than half a century of armed confrontation.

What crap by the Prosecutor’s Office against us Colombians when they have to release, re-arrest and then create a legal justification to re-imprison a blind person, drugging him until it causes unconsciousness and respiratory arrest.

No Colombian needs to be a lawyer to understand that nothing a drugged person says, as happened with Jesús Santrich, can be used as legal evidence. That “legalization of capture” was an illegality, an abuse of authority. The former Attorney General and even the doctors who lent themselves to that creeping infamy must answer for this. 

FARC negotiators Iván Márquez and Jesús Santrich during the peace talks in Havana. 
President Duque, do not turn your back on the Constitution, do not betray your oath. Do not give up the independence of powers with that deaf hatred that only seeks to tear apart and render the Havana Peace Agreement ineffective. Do not rip your shirt, projecting yourself as a pristine president against drug trafficking, because you know very well that your political boss Álvaro Uribe Vélez is a mob boss with an indelible mark. Remember Pablo Escobar Gaviria rejoicing with this current political leader, whom he described as “that blessed boy,” who as director of Civil Aeronautics authorized the operation of the tracks of the Yarí from which cocaine shipments flooded the streets of the United States.

For that single criminal gesture, Uribe can be described for posterity as the precursor of narco-trafficking in Colombia. Do not ignore that in that decision is the genesis of the misfortune that enveloped the whole country.

Nor can you pretend a pain that does not exist for the victims of the conflict, when your boss has his hands stained with the blood shed by the paramilitaries. Historical memory affirms that paramilitarism killed more than 100,000 Colombians, crimes that continue in the dark background of impunity. Respond to Uribe who today wants to reactivate the false positives that the New York Times correctly denounces. Respond to the forced displacement of the rural population and the violent dispossession of 8 million hectares of land. Respond that Uribe and Marta Lucía Ramirez must tell the truth about the deaths of Comuna 13 in Medellin and where they hid the graves. How good it would be for Colombia if the third parties involved in the conflict, not military, also tell the truth.

President, stop the dirty media campaign with which you and your political faction want to demolish the most beautiful feeling that beats in the hearts of Colombians, which is for peace.

Comrades in the ETCR [Territorial Spaces of Training and Reincorporation]: On behalf of the military commanders of the former Central Staff of the FARC, commanders of fronts and columns, impacted by the State’s betrayal of the Havana Peace Agreement, we reiterate to them self-critically, that it was a serious mistake to have delivered our weapons to a cheating State, trusting in the good faith of the counterpart. How naive we were to not remember the wise words of our commander in chief Manuel Marulanda Velez, when he had warned us that weapons were the only guarantee of compliance with the agreements. The sad reality is that they made fools of us.

May peace in Colombia continue to be our banner. We will continue fighting for it. We must continue the fight. Colombia needs a new Government, truly democratic, that fulfills its commitments and realizes the highest of all rights.

We call on all Colombians to mobilize in defense of peace. The common work of all for peace is the way.

Iván Márquez 

May 18, 2019


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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