In response to the escalating violence, right wing attacks, and disregard of the peace process in Colombia a faction of the FARC leadership have announced they are splitting from the organization and will commence the armed struggle against the fascist Colombian state. Reformist elements within the organization remain to the, increasingly one-sided, peace process.
Among those taking up arms is Jesus Santrich, a key FARC leader who has been missing since the end of June. He appeared publicly for the first time alongside Ivan Marquez, another former senior FARC leader, in a video posted to YouTube on Thursday morning, announcing a “new stage of armed struggle.”
“Betrayal, perfidy, judicial persecution, political insecurity, the murder of social leaders and ex-combatants, has forced us to take up arms… We announce to the world that the second Marquetalia has begun under the protection of international law that assists all the peoples of the world to rise up in arms against oppression” the dissident group said in the video.
The 2016 agreement has come under strain as the state and far-right paramilitaries have not complied with their end of the accords. Over 160 FARC members and at least 627 social activists have been killed in that time, whereas the FARC has fully complied with requirements to lay down arms. FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño said that it is the state which is blocking the realization of peace.
President Ivan Duque has so far not commented.