FARC Senator Victoria Sandino: We're not the ones afraid of truth

FARC Senator Victoria Sandino Simanca Herrera has issued a press release about the ongoing statements of women who claim to have been victims of various types of sexual crimes by the former FARC-EP guerrilla movement.

A number of women have come forward after the signing of the Final Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the guerrilla movement of the FARC-EP claiming to have been sexually abused or harassed by former guerrillas.

In the past most of these accusations have turned out to be false and manipulations by the extreme right wing.

Senator and former guerrilla Victoria Sandino Simanca Herrera has issued the following statement:

1. The Special Jurisdiction for Peace is a transitional justice mechanism aimed at guaranteeing access to truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition for the entire universe of victims in the context of the armed conflict. In this sense, those of us who were members of the FARC-EP have committed ourselves to appear before this instance to tell the truth about the events that occurred during the armed confrontation and, if applicable, assume the corresponding responsibilities.

2. The construction of the JEP itself meets international standards in the field of international humanitarian law, and it was made explicit in the Peace Agreement that there are crimes that, due to their seriousness, cannot benefit from amnesty or pardon and therefore must be prosecuted by this jurisdiction, guaranteeing the corresponding sanctions.

3. We express our total repudiation to those who have committed acts of gender-based violence in the context of the armed conflict, we invite all victims of these acts to come and support the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, so that their rights are guaranteed.

4. It is of great concern that this issue is being used to weaken the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the Peace process under construction. The Special Jurisdiction for Peace is the only judicial body that can currently guarantee the comprehensive reparation of the victims.

5. The FARC have always been committed to a close dialogue with the victims. This commitment in the scenario of peace building stands firm in order to build bridges for reconciliation.

6. We reiterate our unrestricted commitment to peace and therefore we are ready to appear before the JEP, should this be required. This is the only scenario where all the accusations against all actors who took part in the armed conflict must be debated and resolved.

Do not expect from us media and opportunist confrontations that contribute nothing to the satisfaction of the rights of the victims.