Colombia: FARC congressmen take office, but with doubts about the future

10 congressmen assumed their roles in the name of FARC, but their continuity in the Duque government is not guaranteed

Leer en español: Colombia: Congresistas de FARC se posesionan, pero con dudas hacia el futuro

This July 20 the possession of the new senate and chamber of representatives of the Colombian government took place, in which assumed the positions of the congressmen who will occupy this position for the period 2018-2022.

In a day with many eventualities, in which, for example, the elected senator Antanas Mockus lowered his pants in front of the entire Senate, as he had done before, the focus of the analysis continues to be the new role that leaders will have of the FARC guerrilla within the legislative bodies of the government, since they have five seats in each chamber, a figure that is not insignificant and that they should take advantage of if they seek to make a legitimate transition to political discourse.

However, the elected president Iván Duque has not been positioned and there is already uncertainty among the political party that represents the FARC, since from Spain he spoke of his plans to make 'corrections' to the peace agreement that could put the congressmen in doubt elected by the party to make representation in political scene.

Who are the senators of the FARC party?

The list of the five representatives of the FARC party that will go to the Senate is headed by the leader of the group in the peace talks in Havana, Iván Márquez, whose participation is still in doubt.

Márquez announced on Monday of this week that he would not be able to occupy his seat in the Senate, according to him for three "insurmountable" causes. CNN reports that the first and most important of these cases refers to the case of Jesús Santrich, also part of the FARC's negotiating team in the peace talks, that after the signing of the agreement was captured under drug trafficking charges and is being requested to extradition by the United States government.

For Márquez, the situation of Santrich represents a judicial assembly of the government to suppress the political participation of his party, and, for him, he has 'between life and death the peace process'.

The other two 'insurmountable' causes that would prevent their participation in the Senate correspond to the modifications that have been made to the JEP, the main transitional justice body that counts the process, and the non-formalization of a political and agrarian reform since the signing of the agreement.

Although Marquez could not participate, the National Electoral Council of Colombia granted him credentials as a senator, and included him in his lists.

The other four seats in the Senate of the Republic will be occupied by: Alias ​​Pablo Catatumbo, also a negotiator in Havana, aka Victoria Sandino, who led the so-called 'gender subcommission' during the peace dialogues, alias Carlos Antonio Lozada, who responsible for communications of the party and who was part of the FARC group for 38 years and aka Sandra Ramírez, widow of the FARC commander Manuel Marulanda Vélez and member of the Mechanism of Monitoring and Verification of the Ceasefire and Hostilities and Weapons Detention .

What other questions can the FARC have in the congress?

The elected president Iván Duque has been emphatic with the 'corrections' he intends to make to the peace agreements that put the leaders of the previous guerrilla group in the congress. One of those that most should concern the demobilized, and particularly those who aspire to positions in politics is to eliminate drug trafficking as a crime 'connected' to the crime of rebellion, and therefore punishable under ordinary justice.

In addition, the president-elect affirmed that, during his mandate, those who have committed crimes of 'humanity', regardless of context, will be prohibited from participating in politics.

"They will have to receive a sentence that makes their presence in Parliament incompatible; but that the party, which has made that transition, can replace those people with others, who do not have debts with justice", said Duque.

LatinAmerican Post | Pedro Bernal

Translated from "Colombia: Congresistas de FARC se posesionan, pero con dudas hacia el futuro"

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