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Published On: Thu, Jan 25th, 2018

Another FARC member shot dead – Interior Minister claims Colombia has exhausted protection measures

nsnbc : Colombia’s FARC called again on President Juan Manuel Santos to guarantee the security to exercise politics. Colombia’s Interior Minister, on Tuesday, claimed that the national government has exhausted protection measures for demobilized FARC-EP guerrilla. Hours later another former guerrilla and FARC member, Cristian Guejia, was shot dead.

Colombia_FARC_2018 electionAmidst its first election campaign since the signing of the December 2016 peace accord that set the stage for the demobilization and disarmament of the FARC-EP and its continuation as a political party using the acronym FARC, the party called on Santos to guarantee that FARC members can safely exercise their political rights.

The call was echoed by the United Nations which had already confirmed that 36 FARC members and 13 family members of FARC members had been murdered since the signing of the peace accord in December 2016. Last week the UN which is observing the peace process in the country urged the government to “take all necessary measures to guarantee the free exercise of rights during the electoral process”.

The United Nations deployed more than 400 international peace observers to monitor the process that seeks normalization after more than half a century of armed conflict. The process is complicated by ongoing violence between military and police, right-wing neo-paramilitaries with traditional links to the military, the leftist National Liberation Army (ELN) and other non-state actors including drug cartels and some dissident FARC-EP guerrilla.

Violence that emerged after the FARC’s demobilization has also targeted community leaders. Only hours after the FARC leadership called on the government to guarantee the security to exercise politics, former FARC-EP guerrilla Cristian Guejia was assassinated. A FARC spokesperson identified Guejia – a.k.a. Marcos – as the 37th assassinated FARC member.

Guejia was known as political organizer and manager of local communities in northern Cauca. In addition, it was reported that he was a member of the music band Municipal de Santander de Quilichao, and apparently was engaged in mining work.  He was assaulted by individuals carrying handguns to his home in the Barrio Santa Teresita de Santander de Quilichao, in the vicinity of the main entrance to the cemetery there. Colombia’s Interior Ministry claims it has exhausted protection measures for FARC members.

CH/L -nsnbc 25.01.2018

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