FARC Admits Responsibility for Victims of Armed Conflict in Colombia

By Dialogo
August 22, 2013

For the first time, the communist guerrillas of the FARC acknowledged part of their responsibility for the thousands of victims that resulted from the armed conflict going on for almost 50 years in Colombia, and proposed to move forward to the topic of victims’ reparations in the peace negotiation.

“There is no question that cruelty and pain have been caused by our troops,” the guerrillas said in a statement read by Pablo Catatumbo, member of the delegation that is negotiating with Juan Manuel Santos’ government in Havana.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), with about 8,000 combatants, acknowledged this fact one month after President Santos admitted, for the first time, the Colombian State’s responsibility in “serious human right violations” that resulted from the armed conflict.

“We must recognize the need to address the issue of victims’ reparations and their identification, in accordance with the cause for peace and reconciliation,” the FARC said. They have been negotiating an agreement to put an end to the armed conflict that has been going on for almost 50 years and which left about 600,000 dead and three million displaced people, for nine months.

The Government’s peace delegation, headed by Humberto de la Calle, did not issue any statements to the press upon their arrival at the Convention Palace in Havana, where the negotiations are taking place.

The new round of negotiations started on August 19, in which both delegations are expected to continue debating the issue of political participation, the second of the five points on the agenda. An agreement on the first issue, concerning agrarian development, was reached in May.