NI warning as top FARC peace negotiator vows more violence

Supporters of the peace deal signed between the Colombian government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, listen to results of a referendum on a peace deal in 2016, which was narrowly rejected by the people. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara).
Supporters of the peace deal signed between the Colombian government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, listen to results of a referendum on a peace deal in 2016, which was narrowly rejected by the people. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara).
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A victims group has warned Colombia that it is facing similar problems to NI after a number of leading FARC terrorists who signed up to its peace process vowed to return to violence.

Colombia’s president has offered a near-million dollar reward for the arrest of the top peace negotiator for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) after the rebel and hardliners vowed to resume their terrorism.

President Ivan Duque also accused Venezuela’s socialist leadership of providing safe haven to the rebels, underscoring the risks to regional stability. In a video, Luciano Marin appeared alongside 20 heavily armed insurgents condemning Mr Duque for allegedly standing by as hundreds of leftist activists and rebels were killed since demobilising as part of the peace deal, which had been supported by Sinn Fein and DUP representatives.

Kenny Donaldson, spokesman for Innocent Victims United said: “This latest development in many ways mirrors the experience we have had in Northern Ireland. When terrorism is bartered with and appeased there never is an endgame, splinter groups emerge and commit anew to further bloodshed believing that they can continue to force further concessions.

“In many ways Venezuela is behaving not dissimilarly to the Republic of Ireland which harboured Republican terrorists for the best part of three decades.”

But Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney said it had become “increasingly clear” that the Colombian peace process was under severe pressure “largely due to the failure of the Colombian government to fully implement the state’s commitments based on the terms of the 2016 Peace Agreement negotiated and agreed by President Santos”.