As former army chief Gen. Mario Montoya appears before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in a hearing about “false positive” killings, victims hold a vigil outside.
President Duque lays the ceremonial first brick in what will be a “Museum of Memory” honoring conflict victims. Some victims’ groups protest outside against Duque’s appointed director of the governmental Center for Historical Memory, Dario Acevedo (left), who in the past held the common right-wing view of denying the existence of an armed conflict.
Colombia’s Minister of Defense, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, arrives at U.S. Southern Command and is greeted by Southcom Commander Adm. Craig Faller. Minister Holmes Trujillo visited Southcom to discuss security cooperation.
- President Duque travels to the embattled Catatumbo region, promising to accelerate investment in the Territorially Focused Development Plans (PDET) foreseen in the peace accord’s first chapter (Rural Reform).
About 75 paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division carry out a paratrooper exercise at the Tolemaida base in Tolima. They were joined by 40 more personnel from U.S. Army South, the Southern Command’s Texas-based army component. “This gives us a repetition at projecting power through joint forcible entry,” 82nd Airborne spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Burns told Army Times.
- The CEO of the International Development Finance Corporation, a U.S. government body that issues loans and loan guarantees, visits Tumaco, the Pacific coast municipality that leads all Colombian municipalities in land area planted with coca. Adam Boehler promises US$5 billion in financing for private development projects, and witnesses a coca eradication operation.
- Amid reports of 23 homicides of social leaders in December, a large-scale “Gulf Clan” paramilitary incursion in Bojayá, Chocó, and the murder of human rights defender Gloria Ocampo in Putumayo, the Presidency convenes a rare meeting of the National Security Guarantees Commission that was established by the peace accord.
- Bojayá social leader Leyner Palacios, who denounced serious recent threats on his life, is invited to join the Commission’s meeting. Palacios is known nationally as a survivor of the 2002 FARC indiscriminate bombing that destroyed the village’s church, killing 79 people—including 5 of Palacios’s relatives—seeking refuge inside.
- High Commissioner for Peace Miguel Ceballos voices doubt that 300 Gulf Clan members could be deployed all at once in Bojayá, as local groups have denounced.
- President Duque meets with UN Verification Mission Head Carlos Ruiz Massieu to go over the Mission’s findings, as documented in the Secretary-General’s latest report to the Security Council. Duque calls on the Mission to extend its mandate to 2022. It is currently set to expire at the end of 2020.
- Ruiz Massieu says that although “very important advances” had been made in the accord’s implementation, it faced “great challenges.”
- A FARC communiqué rejects President Duque’s claims, following his meeting with Ruiz Massieu, that the government has made significant advances in implementing the peace accord. The process “is going through a critical moment,” according to the ex-guerrillas, who called on the UN verification to exercise “greater neutrality.” The FARC called out the government for referring at all moments to its own “peace with legality” policy instead of to the peace accord.