The United Nation envoy for Colombia has called for improved protection for former combatants who are being killed in increased violence and massacres by other groups that have cropped up since the 2016 peace accord.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN political mission in Colombia verified 19 killings of former combatants from the country’s main rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in the three-month period ending September 25.
The latest victims included one of the highest-ranking former FARC commanders, Jorge Ivan Ramos, who became a FARC political party leader and was killed on August 28.
The UN chief said Ramos was actively engaged in implementing the 2016 peace deal with the government, including working on a crop substitution programme and the handover process for FARC assets.
Before the peace deal was signed with the FARC, more than 50 years of war in Colombia caused more than 220,000 deaths and displaced nearly six million people. An amnesty law was adopted covering most offences committed by FARC fighters
Colombia’s Foreign Minister Claudia Blum had earlier told UN council that the safety and security of former combatants, human rights defenders and social and political leaders remains the country greatest challenge.