Colombia Suspends Warrants against FARC Head to Aid Peace Talks

The measure, revealed Friday, provoked criticisms from Colombia's far-right, which is opposed to the peace process.

Over 100 arrest warrants against the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Timoleon Jimenez have been suspended allowing the guerrilla leader to travel to Cuba to participate in peace talks with the Colombian government, judicial authorities informed Friday.

The peace process aims to bring an end to more than 50 years of armed conflict that has claimed more than 220,000 lives and millions of other victims.

Colombian Attorney General Eduardo Montealegre revealed in an interview with local Caracol Radio that the suspension of warrants against Timoleon Jimenez, also known as Timochenko, was ordered on Dec. 22 after a request from President Juan Manuel Santos.

Many experts have highlighted that it was of crucial importance that the historical leader of the guerrilla took part in the negotiations, in order to give them more legitimacy. 

RELATED The Colombian Peace Process Explained

The Colombian guerilla leader has 118 arrest warrants against him over charges such as homicide, forced disappearance, kidnapping and rebellion, as well as more than 60 lawsuits.

After the suspension, Alvaro Uribe, former Colombian president and a hard right-wing senator, slammed the center-right government of Santos, calling its members the true enemies of peace, claiming the government is tolerant towards terrorism. Colombia’s legislative commission in charge of investigating state officials also launched a probe against the President Santos, accusing him of breach of legal duty by omission, and treason of homeland, for the suspensions. 

On Monday, President Santos authorized the return of two guerrilla leaders to Colombia to assist with landmine removal efforts amid ongoing peace talks in Cuba. Colombia is one of the countries with the highest landmine-related casualties in the world. Almost 40% of landmine victims have been civilians, including children.



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