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What is known about the Central Staff, the largest FARC dissidence that agreed to negotiate peace with Petro

The Central General Staff (EMC) is the largest dissident of the FARC. In an unusual public appearance, this armed group made up of some 3,000 guerrillas announced on Sunday in San Vicente del Caguán, department of Caquetá, that is willing to start peace talks with the Government of Colombia next May 16 in Oslo, Norway.

In addition to this announcement, the appearance of Nestor Gregorio Vera Fernandezalias ‘ivan bite‘, top leader of the EMC that in 2022 he had been presumed dead. On July 15, the very Defense Minister Diego Molano reported that the guerrilla had died in a bombardment by military forces in the village of Santa Rita, in San Vicente del Caguan. His body was never found.

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Dressed in camouflage uniform and carrying a powerful rifle on his back, ‘ivan bite‘ He moved accompanied by strong security to the stage where the announcement was to be made.

Alias ​​’Iván Mordisco’, commanding general of the FARC dissidence. (EFE/Ernesto Guzman). (Ernesto Guzman Jr./)

The total peace It is one of the priority objectives of the administration of the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro. But in order to reach this objective it is necessary to seat the Central Staff at the negotiating table.

Ready for dialogue and truce with the ELN

Thousands of people came from all over Colombia to participate in the Sunday event, including members of the peasant guard, who in the last ten years They have established themselves as the caretakers and guarantors of human rights in the countryside. Despite having a high degree of formality, they have not yet been recognized by the Colombian State, according to RCN radio.

“We announce to the whole world that our delegates at the dialogue table with the Colombian State, at the head of the national Government, are ready for May 16 of this year,” first said the EMC spokeswoman known as angela left.

Then, ‘Ivan Mordisco‘ went to National Liberation Army (ELN)the other guerrilla that is in a peace negotiation with the Government.

“To the companions of National Liberation Army We invite you to put an end to the war between our organizations, a conflict that only benefits the powerful class of the country and enriches those who live from the arms market”, said.

Members of the peasant guard meet at Casa Roja, in San Vicente del Caguan, together with the Central General Staff (EMC), the main dissidence of the former FARC.  (EFE/ Ernesto Guzman).

Members of the peasant guard meet at Casa Roja, in San Vicente del Caguan, together with the Central General Staff (EMC), the main dissidence of the former FARC. (EFE/ Ernesto Guzman).

The AFP agency reported that ‘Iván Mordisco’ He evoked the “sadness” caused in 2016 by the agreement that led to the disarmament of the bulk of the FARC and presented himself as a defender of the “oppressed” and the environment.

He expressed that “the doors to a “peace with social justice” are “opened again” with this process with the Government that will have “the people as sovereign.”

The event was attended by a small government delegation that did not comment on the subject.

The reactions

Danilo Ruedathe peace commissioner appointed by the president Gustavo Petrowas the one who managed to agree on the dialogue with the Central Staff, according to the Spanish newspaper “El País”. He was not present at the ceremony on Sunday.

A month ago, his own Petro announced that after eight months of exploratory talks with ‘Ivan Bite’the process was underway.

On Monday of last week, Rueda met with the leaders of the EMC in Yari, in the department of caquetaand received the names of five of its members who will integrate an oversight and control mechanism, which will be formally installed on April 26.

Colombian Government Peace Commissioner Danilo Rueda speaks to the press during a document signing ceremony with the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN), in Caracas on October 4, 2022.(Photo by Yuri CORTEZ / AFP).

Colombian Government Peace Commissioner Danilo Rueda speaks to the press during a document signing ceremony with the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN), in Caracas on October 4, 2022.(Photo by Yuri CORTEZ / AFP). (YURI CORTEZ /)

After the announcement of EMCpolitical sectors of Colombia They spoke for and against.

The leftist senator ivan cepedaa member of the Polo Democrático Alternativo and president of the Peace Commission of the Senate, said that “The announcement that is in progress is of the greatest importance. in relation to the upcoming installation of a table between the national government and guerrilla groups that did not enter the peace process that ended in the 2016 agreement.”

“I think that this advances in a very important way in terms of total peace. It is important that it is these dialogues that are initiated that the rights of the population are respectedThat there be a bilateral ceasefire and hostilities soon, as well as a viable agenda, and that the 2016 peace agreement and the signatories who have taken the path of reincorporation be respected”he added.

For his part, the president of the House of Representatives, David Racerfrom the Colombia Humana party, maintained that after the announcement, the confrontation with the various armed groups must be de-escalated while the State advances in the recovery of territorial control.

While among those who oppose this process, Senator Maria Fernanda Cabal, from the right-wing Centro Democrático party, accused the members of the peasant guard of “protecting” the members of the EMC. “The FARC terrorists protected by the supposed ‘peasant guards’. The insurgency with power does not give peace, it gives violence with impunity,” he wrote on Twitter. He accompanied his publication with a photo of the social organization making a fence on the stage where the insurgents of the EMC.

The FARC from its foundation to its disarmament.  (AFP).

The FARC from its foundation to its disarmament. (AFP).

Source: Elcomercio

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