Delegation calls for government to give ‘at least three percent of GDP’ in compensation, and a seat at the table for conflict victims
FARC negotiators in Havana, Cuba, on September 7 called for the creation of a special fund to give financial compensation to the victims of Colombia’s 50-year-long conflict.
The leftist rebel group said the fund should be at least three percent of the country’s GDP, and should “provide and guarantee the financing terms of the right to full compensation,” El Espectador reported this week.
Also on Sunday, the FARC negotiators said there should be a permanent presence of conflict victims in the negotiations.
Financial compensation for victims, and a space for them at the negotiating table, will “fully restore the conditions which individual and collective victims were in before these people were victimised,” El Espectador quoted the guerrilla delegates as saying.
Dutch-born FARC member Tanja Nijmeijer, who read the proposals to the media on the delegation’s behalf, said there needed to be wider “political, social, cultural, symbolic and psychosocial” reparations in Colombian society, according to the report.
In a related development last week, the guerrilla representatives in Cuba backtracked on their position that a congresswoman who they kidnapped in 2002 should not be considered a FARC victim, El Tiempo reported.
Originally the group rejected the notion that Clara Rojas was a victim of the rebel group in a communique posted on its website. The FARC later removed the statement and denied it had taken such a position.
The group dismissed claims they had exerted pressure on organisers of the peace negotiations to block Rojas’ attendance at the peace talks, according to a story published on the Colombia Reports website.
Humberto de la Calle, in response to the original statement, said that to deny Rojas’ kidnapping was to deny her rights as a victim and as a woman.
Rojas was captured along with presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt in 2002 while working as her campaign manager. The two were freed in 2008.
Rojas is now a House Representative for the coalition Liberal Party.
By Mark Kennedy