Colombian government suspends ceasefire with FARC dissident

Bogotá (BLAZETRENDS).- The Colombian government partially suspended the bilateral ceasefire with the Central General Staff (EMC), a FARC dissidence, after the murder last weekend of four indigenous minors who tried to escape after being forcibly recruited by the Carolina Ramírez Front, which is part of that group.

As “an atrocious fact that questions the will to build a country in peace,” the government defined this Monday in a statement the killing of the four young people, which was denounced last Saturday by the National Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon ( Opiac).

“Consequently, it is reported that the bilateral cessation that was currently in place with this armed group in the departments of Meta, Caquetá, Guaviare and Putumayo is suspended and all offensive operations are reactivated,” the government said in the statement, adding that This measure “will take effect in the next 72 hours.”

The Government stressed: “There is no justification for this kind of crime”, which it considered a “serious violation of International Humanitarian Law” by that illegal organization, which added to other facts that cause “uncertainty and anxiety in the population”, led him to make the decision to “partially suspend” the ceasefire decree.

Measures of December 31

Gustavo Petro, President of Colombia, in a file image. BLAZETRENDS/EPA/Oliver Contreras/Pool

Said ceasefire was announced by Colombian President Gustavo Petro shortly before midnight on December 31, 2022 and covers five armed groups with which he seeks to reach a peace agreement.

These groups are the guerrilla of the National Liberation Army (ELN), which publicly ignored said agreement; the Central General Staff and the Second Marquetalia, both dissidents of the FARC; the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC) and the Sierra Nevada Paramilitaries.

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According to the government statement, the EMC delegates in the ceasefire monitoring mechanism were summoned to inform them of the suspension, but they “excused themselves from attending.”

“If the ceasefire is not effective in certain territories to protect the life and integrity of the entire population, there is no point in persisting with it,” added the official information.

Despite the partial suspension of the bilateral ceasefire, the Government said that it would shortly disclose the names of its delegates for a peace negotiation with the EMC, “to peremptorily begin the dialogue phase.”

The massacre of the four natives

The murder of the four indigenous minors by the Carolina Ramírez Front, which led to the suspension of the bilateral ceasefire with the EMC, was perpetrated in Putumayo, a department bordering Ecuador.

“The four young people who had tried to escape from the recruitment situation” were killed “with a firearm,” said Opiac.

Their escape from the guerrilla ranks occurred on “May 17, 2023 in the afternoon,” and the bodies of “these young people were found in the El Estrecho community,” the indigenous organization said.

The multiple crime was condemned over the weekend by Petro, who defined it as “a slap to peace that violates the foundations of International Humanitarian Law”, and was discussed at a security council held this Sunday.

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