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In a 32-minute video, dated August 29, the dissident wing indicates its future goals. No seizures, attacks on soldiers and policemen, but the armed defense in the event of aggression and dialogue with entrepreneurs, agrarians, and peasants: “To seek a contribution to the progress of rural and urban communities”

THE FARC take up arms again. Not all. The dissident wing of the FARC, the one led by the number two of the most long-lived guerrilla of the Latin American continent that has held the Colombian governments in check for over half a century. This was announced by Iván Márquez, the former deputy secretary of the “Fuerzas armadas revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejercito Popular”, head of the delegation to the peace negotiations in Havana, senator in the Congress of the new party born from the ashes of the old guerrilla, refugee for a year an unknown location that has always been critical of delivering weapons that is considered “a mistake”. With a 32-minute video, dated 29 August 2019, Márquez announces the resumption of the armed struggle “as a universal right that guarantees all the peoples of the world to rise up in arms against oppression”.


Wearing the olive-green military uniform, pistol at the waist, surrounded by twenty men who carry automatic rifles, the number two of the Farc speaks flanked by Seuxis Paucías Hernández, aka Jesús Santrich, the blind guerrilla, central element of the negotiations concluded in November of 2016, wanted by the Colombian judiciary after the Goddess accused him of drug trafficking and struck by an extradition order in the US and by Hernán Darío Velásquez, known as el Paisa, both disappeared after evading the judgment of the Special Peace Tribunal . “We have never been defeated and defeated ideologically,” added Márquez. “This is why the struggle continues. History will record in its pages because we were forced to take up arms again.”

The dissident group indicates what its future objectives will be. No kidnappings, attacks on soldiers and policemen, but the armed defense in the event of aggression and constant dialogue with entrepreneurs, agrarians, peasants “in this way to seek a contribution to the progress of rural and urban communities”. The dissident wing will seek strategic and operational alliances with the National Liberation Army (ELN), which is particularly active along the border with Venezuela. “Our”, explained the deputy of Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, battle name Timoleón Jiménez, known by all as Timoshenko, now senator in the Colombian Congress, “is the continuation of the guerrilla struggle against the treason of the State to the peace agreement of L ‘Havana. “

The announcement reaches the culmination of a tension that has been spreading in the ranks of the former guerrilla. It is a bad blow to the peace process, to the efforts made by the United Nations and to the intense work done by the former president Juan Manuel Santos, who was awarded for this with the Nobel Peace Prize 2018.   Although ten benches in the Senate and the Chamber were reserved by the right to the old combatants, the road to full integration into civil society continued to be complex and full of obstacles. Without considering the intolerance of the conservative part of Colombian society, headed by Álvaro Uribe and now represented by President Iván Duque, who never accepted the idea that those responsible for so many grief and suffering could enjoy special legal legislation that could put them away from convictions imposed by traditional courts.

To weigh on this choice, full of unknowns, there were then the scandals on the “false positives”, innocent civilians killed by the army and passed as guerrillas to obtain commendations and career leaps, and the killing in two years of over 500 social leaders and another 150 former guerrillas by paramilitary squads still active in Colombia.

Colombia, in the supermarkets the secret treasure of the FARC

In 10 years they had accumulated a fortune: from 500 thousand to 8 million euros. People considered them excellent traders. Also because in their chain of supermarkets, among the most famous in Bogotà and in the rest of the country, they offered products at bargain prices. The tip-off of some ex-guerrilla fighters and the not entirely justified revenues have led to a discovery that no one imagined. Four brothers, Norberto, Uriel, Edna, and Luis Alirio Mora Urrea are accused of having been the FARs for decades. The historic guerrilla, now in disarmament, used them to launder the proceeds of drug trafficking, extortion, and kidnapping. A treasure of 230 million dollars that the judiciary, together with the army, managed to confiscate. With a blitz that surprised the majority of Colombians, five companies, 60 supermarkets, 70 current accounts, seven farms, five agricultural centers, 29 urban plots, 15 apartments, three hotels, seven commercial premises, and 27 cars were seized.

Bogota police in front of a market
Bogota police in front of a market

The operation involved 23 municipalities in the country. According to the magistrates, who arrested 3 of the 4 brothers for money laundering and illegal enrichment, the collaboration with the FARC has been going on for at least ten years. The Supercundi, Merkandra and Mercafusa supermarket chain had belonged to a businessman who was then kidnapped by guerrilla warfare. It was after this episode that the Mora Urrea family appeared as the new owner of an empire that extended in most of the country. The brothers’ mother, Maria Ana, according to investigators, “was an intimate friend” of Jorge Briceño, the Mono Jojoy, perhaps the most ruthless leader of the Eastern Guerrilla Front, killed in an army bombing in 2010. Through her and two of her children, the FARC recycled the money that came from drug trafficking and kidnapping. Thanks to the flow of customers of the commercial structures they were able to signal potential hostages. A practice that lasted until a couple of years ago. Then the surge in earnings and the reports of some former militants revealed the secret loot of the FARC.

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