BOGOTA – The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), demobilized under the terms of a November 2016 peace agreement with the government, said on Friday that the financial statement it provided to the United Nations listed 963.2 billion pesos ($326.6 million) in assets.
“We of the FARC have continued complying strictly with what was agreed,” a senior member of the group, Pastor Alape, said at a press conference in Bogota.
He went on to blast a letter from Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez to President Juan Manuel Santos in which Colombia’s chief prosecutor faulted the FARC’s asset declaration for a “lack of definition.”
The attorney general said the FARC’s asset list included trivial and extraneous items such as brooms, pots, boots, orange juicers and medical procedures and he demanded the group submit an amended declaration “as soon as possible.”
Martinez “erred by making a dishonest presentation of the information,” Alape said, adding that the former rebels are the least interested in violating the peace accord, as the collapse of the pact would leave them vulnerable to criminal prosecution for their actions during the 50-year-long conflict.
“This leads us to think that behind the attorney general’s letter is in reality a political intention to continue hindering the implementation of the agreements,” Alape said.
The FARC’s asset declaration is one element in plans to create a mechanism for reparations to civilian victims of the war.
Acknowledging that the FARC list “represents only a modest contribution,” Alape again denied that the group had assets outside Colombia and said that financing a reparations program would be beyond the capabilities of any single organization or institution.
“If one considers the universe of victims and one truly wants to respond to their damages for material reparation, it will take an immense fiscal effort, which we think Colombian society should make,” the FARC official said.