Colombian ex-Farc rebels 'ashamed' of kidnappings


picture captionThousands of Colombians had been kidnapped through the armed battle from 1964-2016

Former commanders of the now disbanded Farc insurgent group in Colombia have for the primary time issued an apology for the kidnappings they carried out through the armed battle.

A fee investigating crimes dedicated throughout 52 years of violence has promised extra lenient sentences to those that admit wrongdoing.

Eight commanders referred to as the kidnappings an "extremely grave mistake" and acknowledged the ache that they had triggered.

A peace deal was signed in 2016.

Thousands of folks had been kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) insurgent group over the many years. Some had been freed after ransom was paid, others had been held for years, typically chained to bushes, and a few had been killed or died in captivity.

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Eight former senior Farc commanders signed the assertion wherein they requested all of these that they had kidnapped and their households for forgiveness.

picture copyrightGetty Images
picture captionThe Farc's former prime chief, Timochenko, was amongst those that signed the assertion

"We now understand the pain we caused so many families – sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, and friends – who lived through hell waiting for news of their loved ones, wondering if they were healthy and under which conditions they were held, kept apart from their affection, from their projects, from their world, "the assertion reads.

picture copyrightGetty Images
picture captionLuis Mendieta (C), a police common, spent nearly 12 years in Farc captivity earlier than being rescued by the Colombian military

The assertion singled out the case of Andrés Felipe Pérez, a 12-year-old boy who had terminal most cancers and who begged the Farc to launch his father Norberto Pérez, a police corporal that they had kidnapped in March 2000.

Footage of the boy pleading to be allowed to see his father one final time was broadcast on TV and have become one of essentially the most heart-wrenching photos of the armed battle, which lasted from 1964 to 2016. Hundreds of Colombians had been so moved by his destiny that they supplied to enter insurgent captivity in trade for the boy's father.

The Farc refused, saying they might solely launch Norberto Pérez if one of their jailed leaders was freed, a requirement the federal government refused.

Andrés Felipe Pérez died in December 2001 with out having seen his father once more. Norberto Pérez was shot useless 4 months later by the Farc whereas making an attempt to flee after greater than two years in captivity.

The Farc assertion stated ignoring the pleas of Andrés Felipe Pérez now made them really feel ashamed and was "like a dagger in our hearts".

"We can't give the victims the time back that we stole from them, nor undo the pain and the humiliations we inflicted upon them, we can only reiterate our commitment to being held accountable before the justice system," the assertion reads.

What's the background?

The signatories included Rodrigo Londoño, higher recognized below his nom de guerre Timochenko, who was the Farc's prime chief when the rebels entered into peace negotiations with the federal government which ultimately led to the signing of a peace accord in 2016.

He and the seven different signatories at the moment are members of the Farc political get together, which they shaped after they laid down their arms.

Crimes dedicated by all sides in Colombia's armed battle are being handled by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), a transitional court docket system arrange as half of the peace deal.

The JEP goals to convey to mild all of the crimes dedicated through the battle and to that impact provides extra lenient sentences to those that admit their crimes up entrance.

It has not been with out controversy as many Colombians argued it let the rebels off calmly for the atrocities they dedicated whereas others argue that it’s the solely manner for the reality about many crimes to emerge and for reconciliation

While most of its prime commanders signed the peace deal, there are a considerable quantity of former Farc rebels who opposed the peace deal and who shaped dissident teams.

In many rural components of Colombia, these dissident teams proceed to interact in drug trafficking, extortion and homicide.

Timochenko himself was focused by dissident rebels earlier this 12 months however after a tip-off police detained the 2 assassins despatched to kill the previous Farc chief.

You could wish to watch:

media captionThe BBC's Will Grant gained entry to a Farc camp in Western Colombia

Related Topics

  • Farc

  • Colombia



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