The Colombian Attorney General’s Office will summon the High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda, to explain his meetings with the guerrilla leader Ivan Marquez, former commander of the FARC and current leader of the so-called Second Marquetalia, one of the main dissident groups from the 2016 peace agreements signed between the government and the now-defunct FARC.
The news of these meetings was disclosed by Rueda himself when he made his encounters with Marquez in Colombia public. The information also served not only to confirm that the guerrilla leader is still alive, after months of conflicting reports about his alleged death in Venezuela but also to make the country aware that the government is exploring dialogue options with the illegal group led by Marquez.
If it were to occur, this would be the third peace negotiation table with an illegal armed group facilitated by the government of Gustavo Petro, following the one conducted with the ELN a year ago and, more recently, with the Central High Command of the FARC, another dissident group from the former FARC that did not adhere to the Havana peace agreement.
Pending legal issues
The summons for Rueda was announced by Attorney General Barbosa. “We have taken note, from various media outlets, that the High Commissioner for Peace has reported having conversations with Ivan Marquez on national territory, and this individual has open legal proceedings in the Attorney General’s Office and an extradition warrant. For this reason, we will call Mr. Danilo Rueda (…) to explain the circumstances of the time, manner, and location where he had contact with Ivan Marquez,” said Francisco Barbosa, head of the Attorney General’s Office.
Ivan Marquez was expelled from the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) after he disavowed the agreements he had previously signed between the FARC guerrilla and the Colombian state. As a result, Márquez now faces various pending legal issues in the ordinary justice system.
Barbosa emphasized the obligation of all public officials to inform the judicial authorities about the situation of individuals who are outside the law.
What Danilo Rueda said
On his part, Danilo Rueda, when he reported his encounters with the guerrilla Marquez, stated that there were three meetings, conducted with witnesses “to avoid any accusations of negotiating impunity,” and with clear lines of dialogue within the framework of the Constitution.
“We have received requests to meet and converse again. We hope to create the necessary conditions for direct conversations with several of these leaders (…) These dialogues would take place in Colombia. All the conversations with the Second Marquetalia have occurred here,” explained the High Commissioner for Peace a few days ago.