One really has to question the Colombian government’s good faith in its negotiations with the FARC. All the time, of course. But especially when things like this happen:
A member of the peace delegation of the FARC guerrillas in Havana, “Jairo Martínez”, was among the 27 rebels killed on May 21 in an attack by military forces in Cauca, southwestern Colombia, the group stated on Wednesday.
“We wish to inform the country and the world that our comrade Jairo Martínez, member of the FARC peace delegation in Havana, who was on a teaching mission of peace in the said front (rebels attacked in Cauca), was among the murdered guerrillas,” said FARC commander Pastor Alape to the press in Havana.
Alape also confirmed that in another military attack in Chocó, on Sunday, commander Román Ruiz, a member of the FARC high command, was killed. The rebel group marked its 51st anniversary of existence under fierce military repression by the Colombian government on Wednesday.
Martínez, 63, real name Pedro Nel Daza Martínez, was a member of the peace delegation but, like other guerrilla chiefs, had returned to Colombia to explain to FARC combatants the extent of the partial agreements reached during the peace negotiations, which began in November of 2012.
Some 40 FARC guerrillas have died in three military incursions as of last Thursday in the provinces of Cauca (southwestern Colombia), Antioquia (north) and Chocó (southwest), weeks after 11 soldiers perished in a rebel ambush in Cauca amid a unilateral truce on the part of the guerrillas.
These attacks, launched after Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos ordered the army to resume bombing the FARC positions following the ambush of April 15, led to the guerrillas suspending, last Thursday, their unilateral truce for an indefinite period of time. The truce had been in place since last December.
Alape requested that the bodies of the fallen guerrillas “be inspected by national and international forensic experts, under the neutral eyes of the ICRC”, the International Committee of the Red Cross, after denouncing that “several wounded (rebels) were killed with gunshots by government troops.”
Martínez had been a member of the peace negotiations during February, 2014.
No word on why the FARC ambushed government troops in spite of their unilaterally declared ceasefire, but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that the fact that the Colombian government had not agreed to a ceasefire of its own, and was probably preparing an attack on the FARC camp in question, had a lot to do with it.
Like I said: You really do have to question the Colombian government’s good faith at all times.