He is apparently trying to lecture guerrilla troops about the FARC’s current peace negotiations with President Juan Manuel Santos which are taking place in Havana, Cuba. His version of the peace accords, however, is at odds with the official government line.
— Daniel Palacios (@danielpalam) July 6, 2016
According to the official version, the government and the FARC agreed that “concentration zones” would be created across Colombia in order for demobilized guerrilla members to surrender their weapons. They released a joint press release stating that the concentration zones will be guarded by military forces and overseen by a United Nations (UN) committee.
- Read more: Why the FARC Deal Won’t End Colombia’s War
- Read more: Colombia: Violent Drug Trafficking Gangs Fill Power Void after FARC Retreat
In the video published by Palacios, however, the alleged FARC commander puts forth a very different interpretation of the “concentration zones:”
When we arrive at the peace zones, they will be parallel states with parallel governments. It’s a state within a state. (We will rule) small revolutionary states within a capitalist state. So we have to show them that the government we’re implementing is better than the one they have.
The alleged guerrilla boss also tells his men that they have to “prepare themselves to govern.” He adds that they will not surrender their weapons until the conditions of the peace agreement are fulfilled.
Palacios told the PanAm Post that he received the video through social media, and that the man giving the speech is a guerrilla commander known as “Miller.”
Palacios insisted it was the national government’s job to confirm the video’s legitimacy of the video. If it proves to be authentic, it would becoe evident that certain FARC leaders are not preparing to adapt to civilian life after the peace accords. Instead, they want to implement a socialist regime in certain parts of Colombia, a scenario that was never announced to the public by the negotiating parties.
The Peace Agreement that Wasn’t
In the next few days the government’s negotiating team will explain the details of the peace agreement to the Colombian public.
However, this new video, which was revealed a few days after the FARC ‘s first front announced it would not demobilize under any circumstances, is generating doubts over whether the government is giving correct information to the Colombian people.
In 2015, members of the FARC’s negotiating teams held a public event in El Conejo county, in the north of the country despite the fact that they were forbidden from interacting with the civilian population. The FARC’s members reached the event in vehicles which were reported as stolen. This generated much discontent among the public.