The FARC was born out of peaseant uprisings in the 1960s. Five decades of armed conflicts with the government have claimed some 220,000 lives. Both sides plan to sign their full peace deal on September 26.
(Soundbite2, Spanish) Haiver Arenas, FARC Squadron Commander
“We have no fear. We have never been afraid to lay down arms. … We always want a peaceful solution, or a political solution. However, this door used to be closed. Today things are different, as there were peace talks. If the Colombian government does not comply, we will see what happens later. We have all the willingness to continue the process politically. The Colombians can no longer say that we want war. We have always wanted peace.”
According to the peace deal, the FARC will transform into a political movement for 10 seats at Congress, but the members committing serious crimes will get punished.
(Soundbite4, Spanish) Haiver Arenas, FARC Squadron Commander
“All the investments that have been made to the war will now be given to education, health and housing, in order not to see dying children starve and the elderly die at the gates of hospitals. People do not have to go on strike, while children can get proper education which is very poor in Colombia. All can enjoy being in our country. Th is what we will aim for.”
According to statements of the FARC secretariat, the vast majority of the 81 fronts have expressed broad support to their agreement with the Colombian government.
After its signature, the full peace accord will be submitted to a national plebiscite on October 2.
As soon as it is approval, the United Nations will be obliged to observe the 180-day disarmament and demobilization process of the paramilitary organization.