Former Colombian President Warns FARC Soon To Dominate Country
Alvaro Uribe, former president of Colombia from 2002 to 2010, criticized the current peace process between the government and FARC rebels and said, regardless of its outcome, FARC will dominate the country by 2018.
Uribe—elected as a senator last year—referred to current negotiations, which began in late 2012, between President Juan Manuel Santos’ government and FARC. The government recently said the process was at a low point amid renewed attacks between both groups.
The former president said more victims would die because the government did not push for more security against FARC:
Every day there are more victims in Colombia. This is not good for the country because they are enthusiastic for new headlines talking about a new round of dialogue supporting victims and everyday they cause more victims.
Santos previously was an official in Uribe’s government, but, after succeeding him in 2010, decided for peace talks with FARC. Angered by this decision, Uribe denounced Santos and formed his own party.
This is not the first time Uribe pressured the government in turning to policies he used as president.
Earlier this year, he met with Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., along with Rep. Henry Cueller, D-Texas, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the latter two also Florida Republicans. Uribe hoped for outside pressure against the peace talks despite being banned from his fellow lawmakers from traveling.
Uribe is losing support among Colombians after allegations of wiretapping political opponents, which potentially can result in jail time. Cesar Julio Valencia, former chief justice of the Colombian Supreme Court, accused the former president’s administration of spying on anyone who did not agree with the government.
In fact, Valencia told Semana he was confident about it:
There is no doubt that the orders to spy on me came from the government,
Uribe denied it ever happened and said any government found to do such an act should face prison time:
If a government orders illegal espionage, then they would go to prison, starting with the president.
Two aides of Uribe were already convicted of spying by a court and more convictions may come.
Currently, as urban Colombians increasing support peace talks, Uribe decided to turn to the extreme right, which includes neo-Nazis, in stopping peace talks. In fact, Aguilas Negras (Black Eagles), a right-wing paramilitary group, wrote a letter where it praised Uribe as the “best president of all time,” while threatening to kill NGO members, politicians, activists and others.
Meanwhile, FARC called for renewed peace talks after a bombing in the capital—allegedly tied to another guerrilla force called the National Liberation Army (ELN)—left eight people injured. The group published a statement citing the importance of peace amid violence:
As we have reiterated on several occasions, in the face of the tragedy brought by war, reason calls for us to work towards the signature of a bilateral ceasefire; it’s logical, sensitive, and what is expected from us.
Image is a Creative Commons Licensed Photo of Alvaro Uribe from the Center for American Progress