FARC Accuses Colombian Government of Failure to Provide Adequate Living Conditions
nsnbc : The United Nations, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP), as well as communities surrounding demobilization camps, accuse the Colombian government of failing to provide decent and adequate living conditions for some 7,000 FARC guerrilla in designated demobilization zones.
Both the FARC, the UN as well as community leaders repeatedly stressed that the government’s failure to provide adequate conditions in demobilization camps shows that the government is lacking commitment to peace.
The FARC-EP demonstrated the lack of commitment by publishing a map which shows, demobilization zone by demobilization zone, how much the current situation differs from what the government pledged in the peace agreement signed in November.
According to the information published on the map, 22 out of the 26 demobilization zones are troubled by delays. In 11 of them the government failed to deliver 100% of its promises. – A “polite” way of saying “the government didn’t deliver anything”.
The establishment of the demobilization zones was plagued by several setbacks. Some of the contractors hired by the government delivered substandard services so sanitary and hygienic conditions in the camps are “dangerous”.
Some land owners on whose land the zones / camps were set to be established began demanding higher charges for the use of their land, in Santander province some locals blocked the demobilizing FARC guerrilla, claiming they were “threatening their local coca growers”; And then there is the ever present threat of neo-paramilitaries and criminal cartels who are pouring into any power vacuum faster than the FARC can evacuate.
In Tierralta, Cordoba, a malaria outbreak delayed construction works until January; An issue that underpins the importance of adequate sanitary and hygienic conditions in the camps unless the demobilization camps are meant to be concentration / extermination camps.
Moreover, boatmen who control the passage through the dam of Ituango, have refused to transport construction materials demanding more pay to make an extra buck.
Mountainous geography and poor access roads complicated works on other demobilization sites – which may suggest poor planning with regard to choosing the locations, poor logistic skills, hasty planning.
However, the government is also blames the FARC for “unreasonable demands”, such as the case in Tumaco where a local FARC commander “allegedly” demanded two sports centers, an audiovisual studio, and 12 brick offices with air conditioning for commanders, in order to allow the works to begin.
The peace accord, of course, didn’t specifically mention air conditioning, but then again, the peace accord also didn’t specifically stipulate that demobilizing guerrilla should volunteer for longitudinal malaria studies.
A/N & CH/L – nsnbc 12.03.2017