The JEP declares “precautionary measures” for ex-FARC members among its defendants, who are facing increased security threats. The transitional justice tribunal calls on the High Commissioner for Peace and the Presidential Counselor for Stabilization to convene bodies created by the peace accord to guarantee ex-combatants’ security, among other specific recommendations.
For security reasons, Colombia’s government helps to relocate an entire settlement of demobilized FARC guerrillas from the Román Ruiz post-conflict demobilization site (ETCR) in Ituango, Antioquia, to the neighboring municipality of Mutatá, several hours’ drive away, where the government has rented new land. Twelve members of the ETCR had been killed in the site’s vicinity since the FARC demobilized. The Gulf Clan and Caparros paramilitary groups are active in Ituango, as are dissident members of the FARC’s old 18th Front.
The FARC party reports that Mario Téllez Restrepo, shot to death on June 14 in Tibú, Norte de Santander, is the 200th former guerrilla to be killed since the peace accord went into effect in December 2016.
Local leaders in Monterredondo, Miranda, Cauca, advise FARC ex-combatants at the local reincorporation site that they should displace because of threats received from an unidentified armed group. On June 10, threats force the displacement of 20 ex-combatants from El Diamante, La Uribe, Meta.
Two relatives of FARC excombatants, aged 15 and 17, are murdered on a rural road in Ituango, Antioquia. The FARC reintegration site in Ituango is so threatened by paramilitaries and FARC dissidents disputing Ituango—a town strategically located along a major drug trafficking route—that its members have asked to displace the entire community elsewhere.
In a special hearing, Maximum FARC party leader Rodrigo Londoño asks the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) to grant protective measures (medidas cautelares) to former guerrillas, nearly 200 of whom have been killed since the peace accord’s signature. Londoño says that 40 percent of those killed have been ex-guerrillas who were released from prison upon demobilizing; 39 more have suffered assassination attempts; and 177 have received threats since 2017. He adds that the Prosecutor-General’s Office (Fiscalía) has only “clarified” (identified the responsible actor) in 11.4 percent of cases.
The FARC formally requests protective measures from the OAS Inter-American Human Rights Commission, citing attacks on former guerrillas around the country, with a death toll approaching 200. “We want to avoid a genocide,” says FARC representative Diego Martínez.
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) decides to study whether to order collective protection measures for former FARC members and former security force personnel who are participating in transitional justice. It cites threats against ex-military defendants, and the killings of at least 193 former FARC members through March.
Police capture Abel Antonio Loaiza Quiñonez, alias “Azul”, whom the Prosecutor-General’s Office holds responsible for the killing and forced displacement of 11 social leaders and former FARC combatants in Putumayo, mainly in Puerto Guzmán municipality. “Azul,” allegedly a member of a local FARC dissident group, was instrumental in a string of rural social leader killings that the magazine Semana called “the caravan of death.”
- Following the killing of two demobilized guerrillas in the previous week, in Huila and Chocó, the FARC raises the volume of its calls for stronger protections of ex-combatants. In a video shared on social media, top leader Rodrigo Londoño says, “The President is indolent, his inaction makes him complicit with the genocide that is presenting itself with the ex-guerrillas.”
- “It’s absurd and irresponsible for the leader of an opposition party to link the President to the attacks on ex-combatants,” responded High Counselor for Stabilization and Consolidation Emilio Archila. “The FARC party is playing politics with peace. The enemies are in the dissidences and in narcotrafficking: not in the government.”
- After the latest killings, Truth Commission chief Francisco De Roux asks, “Why do they kill those who want peace? Why don’t the state security forces care especially for those who trusted institutions and took the risk of working for reconciliation? Are we going to repeat the shocking truth of the Patriotic Union genocide?
- The FARC convenes a cacerolazo (pot-banging protest) in Bogotá to draw attention to their protection needs.
- Fighting between the Gulf Clan and dissidents from the FARC’s 18th Front displaces 863 people in the rural zone of Ituango, Antioquia, which lies on a strategic trafficking route. Some say they were given ten minutes to leave their homes on pain of death.
- Intelligence sources tell El Colombiano that the displacement is a tactic that armed groups use when they are in a position of weakness. “The people in the 18th Front residual group are surrounded by Gulf Clan personnel. So they pressure the communities to displace the that automatically obligates the Army to mobilize its troops, avoiding the other group’s advance.
- Earlier in the month, the entire remaining population of the Santa Lucía FARC demobilization site (ETCR) in Ituango—62 former fighters and 45 relatives—decided to abandon the site within 60 days due to threats. Twelve former FARC members have been killed in Ituango, more than any other municipality. Departmental and national government agencies are discussing options with the ETCR’s residents.
- The Army’s 7th Division reports on January 30 that it had learned of a plot by FARC dissident groups to assassinate ex-guerrillas living at the Santa Lucía facility.
- Pablo Elías González resigns as head of the Interior Ministry’s National Protection Unit, which is charged with providing security for threatened social leaders, ex-combatants, officials, and others. González cites “personal reasons” for leaving.
- González’s replacement, at least on an interim basis, is the vice-minister of Interior for political relations, Daniel Palacios. FARC leaders object to having Palacios in charge of their protection. In 2017, Palacios wrote on social media, “It’s inadmissible that FARC terrorists should stroll down the streets of Bogotá with the excuse of carrying out pedagogy for peace, without even having confessed their crimes or given reparations to their victims.”
- Maximum FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño alias “Timochenko” publishes an open letter alleging that the government is failing to honor its peace accord commitments and that the process is approaching a “precipice.” Demobilized guerrillas, the FARC leader writes, “now find no other solution other than to abandon the ETCR [former demobilization zones] and seek another place to settle and continue their reincorporation process. They are forcibly displaced.… In the Havana peace accords the Colombian state committed itself to provide the reincorporated guerrillas with [security] guarantees. And to social leaders and opposition leaders, all who participate in politics. It’s absolutely clear that none of that has been complied with.”
- On February 3 the government’s high counselor for stabilization and consolidation, Emilio Archila, dismisses the FARC leader’s communication as “a political letter.” Archila says that Londoño “is mistaken surely in good faith, ignorant, but in good faith,” about the Prosecutor’s Office’s alleged failure to prosecute killings of FARC members. He tells reporters, “The FARC director is wrong to believe that he can impose the way in which the accords should be implemented. The Constitutional Court has been clear that the accords should be implemented during three presidential terms… according to each President’s vision.”
- On January 27, Archila had announced a package of ten protection measures for ex-combatants. These include an attention plan for the majority of ex-fighters who no longer live in the ETCR; increased training in self-protection; more resources for the Prosecutor-General’s Office (Fiscalía); and monthly meetings of agencies responsible for protection to review new threats and response measures.
- A civilian judge sends to preventive prison, pending trial, an Army colonel who allegedly green-lighted the April 22 murder of former FARC combatant Dimar Torres in Catatumbo. “This man should be killed,” Col. Jorge Armando Pérez Amézquita reportedly said of Torres, whose murder by soldiers caused a national outcry. “We can’t stand to see him captured only to get fat in jail.” The corporal who carried out the deed was sentenced to 20 years in prison in late 2019.
- National Police Chief Gen. Óscar Atehortua claims that his forces foiled a plot by two former FARC combatants to assassinate maximum FARC party leader Rodrigo Londoño. Police killed the two alleged assailants in Quindío department, apparently in self-defense, near where Londoño was vacationing. Gen. Atehortua, Interior Minister Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez, and National Protection Unit Director Pablo Elías González visited Londoño to tell him about the operation. They cited information that the two would-be assailants may have been sent by the FARC dissident faction led by former top leader and negotiator Iván Márquez.
- “I’m here talking to you thanks to the Police and Army of Colombia, who were always guarding my life and frustrated the assassination,” Londoño tells a Quindío newspaper.
- A top member of that faction, Henry Castellanos alias “Romaña,” denies on his Facebook page that the Márquez faction had anything to do with a plot against Londoño.
- Security analyst León Valencia tells El Tiempo, “I believe there is much resentment, and one can see it, within the FARC, but I find it hard to believe the the first one they would confront would be Timochenko [Londoño].”
- The girlfriend of one of the dead alleged hitmen cast doubt on the official story by sharing with prosecutors a WhatsApp message from him, minutes before he died, reading “My love, I’ll write you back, the Police just arrived.”