The relatives of victims murdered or kidnapped by the FARC are speaking out improper implementation of the 2016 Havana Accords. In a letter addressed to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, as well as the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), which grants pardons to select convicted FARC criminals, the victims’ families blasted the decision to allow FARC members to participate in the political system without yet having had their cases reviewed by the JEP.
“The implementation of the accords should be build over a strong foundation of truth and justice to guarantee its stability and duration over time…. No FARC member (now a political movement) should be able to partake in politics, because no members have yet been granted clemency status by the Special Jurisdiction of Peace”.
The relatives clarified that they are not opposed to the Havana Accords, but that they seek to ensure that they will be carried out according to the letter of the law. The group claims that short circuiting the process to fast track some FARC members into politics would be “a mockery to the effort and time dedicated to the negotiations in Havana”.
The group also called upon FARC leaders to comply with the accords and to demonstrate their commitment to the country by having patience with the process. They asked FARC members not to put their own personal self-interest ahead of the accords.
The letter concludes with a direct appeal.
“We demand that our request is considered in order to achieve a durable and stable peace in Colombia, as only by the principles of truth and justice we will vindicate the memory of our family, murdered by FARC members. Only then, with steady steps, will we be able to start a new chapter in the history of our country, a guarantee that history will not repeat. We hope that this new chapter can be an example for next generations. Then, the entire world will witness that the accords in Colombia were fully implemented from the beginning, and respected the voices of the victims”.