TO five years of the historical Peace Accords in Colombia, the signatories coincided for the first time on the same stage in an act full of symbolism and that it was held at the headquarters of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), the court in charge of trying the crimes of the armed conflict. The two signatories of the peace pact, former president Juan Manuel Santos and former insurgent chief Rodrigo Londoño participated together with the UN Secretary, Antonio Guterres, President Iván Duque, as well as representatives of the victims.

“We insist on apologizing to the victims of our actions during the conflict; the understanding of their pain grows daily in us and fills us with grief and shame”said Londoño, alias Timochenko, the former commander of the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) now converted into the legal Communes party.

In addition, Londoño renewed the commitment of 13,000 men and women who remain faithful to the peace agreement and handed over their rifles, even despite the violence that ex-combatants face. Since 2016 about 300 have been killed. A day earlier, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, had expressed his concern about the murders of former FARC members and social leaders due to the actions of illegal armed actors. “They sink the hopes of communities, as well as jeopardize the prospects for sustainable development.”Guterres stated on a visit to Antioquia.

Santos and Duque

Santos, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for promoting the agreements, and Duque, who sought – unsuccessfully – to modify the agreement because he considers it benevolent towards the revolutionary groups, greeted each other with a handshake during the fifth anniversary of the historical pact.

For his part, the former Colombian president made a positive assessment of the five years of the peace pact. “The train of peace that so many have wanted to derail or stop continues its course, continues to advance”Santos said. “President Duque got on the peace train as we have seen him with great satisfaction lately”, highlighted on one of political adversary uses.

“Who would have believed that exactly five years after the signing at the Colón Theater we would be sitting at the same table, in the same room, the UN Secretary General, the President of the Republic, the former FARC commander, today President of the Commons party, and this server? “, wondered the Nobel Prize.

From the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), a body constantly criticized by the right that supports Duque, they are preparing the first sentences against the former command of the insurgents for more than 21 thousand kidnappings. In addition, the court is trying the military for 6,400 executions of civilians who were presented as killed in combat to inflate the results of their counter-guerrilla policy.

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