BOGOTA – The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) announced Tuesday that its members will not start heading for the areas where they must gather before laying down their arms due to the lack of infrastructure in those areas and “legal obstructions.”
Their concentration in 23 rural areas is part the peace accord signed Nov. 24, but according to what the head of the negotiating team Ivan Marquez said Tuesday, that won’t be possible until the government complies with its obligation to quash arrest warrants for individual guerrillas.
“The country’s high court in the political sphere has ordered a quicker preparation of normalization areas where guerrilla units must go once the legal obstructions are cleared away and individual arrest warrants are annulled,” Marquez told the press in Bogota.
The FARC repeated its commitment to demobilize and lay down it arms, and said the guerrillas have offered to help build the infrastructure required for their shelter at the places they must gather.
The peace accord, ratified by Congress last Nov. 30, established that after this step is taken, the implementation of the pact will begin.
That includes the beginning, five days later, which should have been this Tuesday, the moving of guerrillas to the concentration areas.
“We hold fast to the peace in hopes it will at last embrace Colombia,” Marquez said, while noting the FARC’s commitment to the process despite its delayed move to the concentration areas.
Marquez said the team handling the tripartite monitoring and verification of the cease-fire, made up of members of the FARC, the government and the UN, is visiting those areas “to establish the infrastructure needed to receive the guerrillas.”