The chief peace negotiator for the Marxist terrorist group FARC told Univisión this week that he fears that the peace process with Colombia is “dead” and that, if the government does not meet his group’s demands soon, the process may go “from limbo to hell.”
Iván Márquez, the closest thing to a diplomat to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), made the statements in a Univisión interview from his refuge in Havana, Cuba. The Cuban government has aided the terrorist group for years after its leadership was forced to flee Colombia during the tenure of President Álvaro Uribe.
Uribe, now a Senator, was the leader of a major opposition movement to a peace deal Márquez brokered with President Juan Manuel Santos, formerly Uribe’s defense minister. That deal would have allowed the FARC to establish a political party using their million-dollar drug trafficking funds and would have permitted most FARC terrorists who surrender to the government to avoid prison sentences. On two separate occasions, Santos told the UN General Assembly that the deal was a resounding success and a model for other nations to follow on the path to peace. Santos and FARC leader “Timochenko” signed the deal using a pen made of melted bullets before a crowd that included Secretary of State John Kerry in the seaside city of Cartagena.
For such a deal to pass, however, the Colombian constitution demands a popular vote. On October 2, the Colombian people voted “no.”While the national vote margin was narrow, maps showing vote distributions found that the nation’s mountainous interior, where the terrorist group had killed, raped, abducted, or “disappeared” the most people, voted overwhelmingly against allowed the group to morph into a political power with automatic representation in Congress.
“That’s the game of democracy,” Márquez lamented in his interview.
“Renegotiating the agreement is a very complex matter,” he warned, noting that it may take “years of negotiation” to arrive at a second deal. “We will struggle with all our strength for a political solution to the conflict. We do not want any more deaths,” he asserted.
The FARC are responsible for an estimated 220,000 deaths during their half-century of existence and have forcibly displaced over two million Colombians. Another 100,000 people remain missing. The FARC have been found guilty of a wide variety of crimes, including but not limited to murder, kidnapping for ransom, the use of child soldiers, rape, rape of minors, and forced abortions on raped minors. They are considered the world’s wealthiest non-jihadist terrorist group, surpassing groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Boko Haram in income. According to Forbes, only Hamas and the Islamic State generate more income.