The Colombian government partially suspended this Monday (22) the bilateral ceasefire with the Central General Staff (EMC), a FARC dissident, following the murder last weekend of four indigenous minors who tried to flee after being forcibly recruited by the Frente Carolina Ramírez, which is part of that group.
In a statement issued this Monday, the Colombian government defined the murder of the four youths, which took place in Putumayo, a department bordering Ecuador, as “an atrocious fact that calls into question the will to build a country in peace.”
The murder of the four minors was denounced last Saturday by the National Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (Opiac).
“Therefore, it is reported that the bilateral ceasefire that was in force with this armed group in the departments of Meta, Caquetá, Guaviare and Putumayo is suspended and all offensive operations have been reactivated,” the government said in the statement, in which it added that this measure “will take effect in the next 72 hours”.
“There is no justification for this type of crime”, stressed the government, which considered it a “serious violation of international humanitarian law” by the illegal organization, which adds to other incidents that cause “uncertainty and anxiety in the population”.
The aforementioned ceasefire was announced by Colombian President Gustavo Petro shortly before midnight on December 31, 2022 and covers five armed groups with which his government seeks a peace agreement.
These groups are the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas, which publicly ignored this agreement; the Central General Staff and the Second Marquetalia, both dissidents from the FARC; the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC); and the Sierra Nevada Paramilitaries.
According to the government statement, the EMC delegates in the ceasefire monitoring mechanism were summoned to be informed about the suspension, but did not attend.
“If the ceasefire is not effective in certain territories to protect the life and integrity of the entire population, there is no point in persisting with it,” the statement added.
Despite the partial suspension of the bilateral ceasefire, the government said it would soon release the names of its delegates for a peace negotiation with the EMC, “to start the phase of dialogue peremptorily”.
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