Peace Mail - 22-28 October 2019

News and Press Release
Originally published
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This is how “The Singer of the FARC” became mayor of Turbaco: Guillermo Torres became the first former FARC guerrilla to be elected mayor by popular vote in his homeland of Turbaco, Bolívar. Torres, who had been a member of the FARC guerrilla since 1983, won, not with the endorsement of what would be considered his natural party, the FARC, but with the support of Colombia Humana. Torres' campaign stood out for being a campaign with little publicity, with almost no ads promoting his political exercise. Instead, he used his voice and a guitar. The fact that he was remembered as the "singer of the FARC" played in his favor in his run for election. While his opponents spent money on advertising, this former guerrilla sang and held meetings that few people attended; he gave surprise visits to neighborhoods, and when people he would arrive, they would say: "here comes the singer of the FARC, here he comes”.

The UN Verification Mission in Colombia condemns killing of ex-combatant in reincorporation space: The UN Verification Mission in Colombia condemns the murder of Alexander Parra Uribe, known as Rodolfo Fierro, in the former Territorial Training and Reincorporation Space (ETCR) of Mesetas, Meta. It severely denounced this assassination and deplored the increase in the number of murders of former FARC combatants in process of reincorporation, which has reached 158 since the signing of the Peace Agreement. Alexander Parra Uribe was a former commander, delegate of the FARC to the Departmental Council of Reincorporation in Meta, and coordinator of the tourism project Ambientes para la Paz, supported by international cooperation. Parra was recognized for his commitment to the peace process and his role in promoting reincorporation. His killing is the first to occur within an ETCR, where ex-combatants move on with their process of reincorporation into civilian life, and which are guarded by security forces.

FARC, to answer for recruitment and abuse of minors in its ranks: After analyzing several reports of forced recruitment of minors and of sexual violence against children forcibly recruited by the FARC, and based on the analysis of documents presented by the group, the JEP summoned the former guerrilla chiefs who belonged to the Central Staff or Secretariat of the FARC between 1978 and 2016, for preliminary hearings. 37 former guerrilla chiefs were included in this process, and 14 former FARC commanders were summoned in the first round of hearings. The ex-guerrillas will have the opportunity to respond to the accusations contained in the reports reviewed by the JEP and to make early contributions to the truth.