Colombia approves amnesty for FARC combatants. Move will benefit estimated 5,000 former guerrillas, many in jail for political crimes
Colombia’s Congress on Wednesday took a major step forward in the country’s peace process when it approved an amnesty for former combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The new law provides legal guarantees for around 5,000 ex-fighters from the guerrilla group, who will now move to holding areas from where they will start to make the transition to civilian life.
Alvaro Uribe tweets that drug trafficking will go unpunished as it falls under “political crimes:”
Otro engaño de la dictadura, negaron el ofrecido Acuerdo de Implementación, no permitieron excluir narcotráfico impune de delitos políticos
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) December 29, 2016
The law is seen as the key that will allow the 52-year-old guerrilla group to begin full-scale demobilization. Those accused of serious crimes, however, will have to go before a special tribunal. Even so, they will also have access to reduced sentences that will include “confinement” but not prison time.
Colombia child soldiers reluctant to leave FARC ‘family’ – rebel commander (emphasis added),
Victoria Sandino, a commander with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has a seat at the negotiating table where the government and FARC are working to revive a peace accord signed by both sides but narrowly rejected by voters in a referendum earlier this month.
She said children are wary about leaving rebel ranks.
“They don’t want to leave the organization,” Sandino told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a telephone interview from Cuba where peace negotiators are gathered.
“One of the reasons they are telling us this is: ‘Well you protected us here during the fighting and the entire period of the war.”
“And now that there’s no fighting, we are expected to leave … the environment we know, the people we know, and our family because the FARC organization is a big family for all of us,” she said.
A big enslaved family, at that. Sandino stated “there are no more combatants under age 15” after the FARC released all of eight child soldiers last September.
A number that I consider as believable as the FARC’s happy family.
Post re-edited to add missing HTML.