Senator and former chief negotiator for peace with the FARC, Humberto de la Calle, is questioning Colombia’s security policy following attacks in Cauca and Jamundi by the Central High Command (EMC), a dissident group of the FARC that did not adhere to the agreements signed with the government in 2016.
De la Calle called on President Petro to regain control of the region, which has witnessed two criminal attacks this week that, according to the senator, raise questions about the government’s security policy amidst the Total Peace project that the country is pursuing with various illegal armed groups.
Review of Security Policy
Humberto de la Calle proposed the need to review the government’s security policy because, in his view, it is not working as armed groups are strengthening.
“The president, and this is my message, should reevaluate his security policy. It seems to me that at this moment, it is failing, and I believe that all Colombians should make an effort to redirect a policy that must not end up destabilizing peace, security, and public order in the territories in such a visible and intense manner,” the senator stated.
Support for Total Peace
De la Calle expressed his support for the Total Peace project proposed by the government, which goes beyond the current negotiations between the state and the National Liberation Army (ELN). However, the senator also expressed reservations about opening negotiations with all dissidents of the former FARC, as in his view, some of these groups are composed exclusively of common criminals without any political agenda.
Likewise, Humberto de la Calle also emphasized the need to pay attention to episodes of violence occurring during the talks to avoid strengthening these illegal armed groups.
“What is happening now is serious because it seems that Total Peace, as it involves FARC dissidents, some of which are really made up of purely criminal groups, has generated a desire among their groups to set the tone for violence and to grow in their criminal actions,” the senator pointed out.
EMC Announces “Suspension of Offensive Actions”
The Central High Command (EMC), a dissident group of the former FARC that has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks in Cauca and Jamundí, has announced a “suspension of offensive actions.”
In a statement, the group led by Iván Mordisco expressed regret for this week’s events, acknowledging the “military precision” of the action as a mistake. It is worth noting that in the first attack in Cauca, two civilians were killed, and five others were injured.
“The recent statements before the JEP by General Torres Escalante, in which he implicates General Mario Montoya and Guillermo Quiñones as promoters of state crimes, commonly referred to as ‘false positives,’ in addition to the recent events in Tierralta (Cordoba) and the alliances between the armed forces and paramilitary groups in various regions of the country, invite us to work tirelessly on the discussion and dismantling of the military and paramilitary doctrine that undermines the armed forces and police,” the EMC statement said.
The statement specifies that the cessation of offensive activities began on September 22 and will continue until October 8, the date agreed upon with the government for the start of the bilateral ceasefire before the beginning of peace talks.