Havana: Peace negotiators for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Saturday said it was "unreal" and "asymmetrical" to make jailing guerrillas in Colombia a condition of a peace pact "while impunity for the oligarchy, the political class and the armed forces continues."
"Basing a successful end to the peace process on the obligatory jailing of the insurgency leadership, besides violating the principle of innocent until proven guilty, is a condition unknown and never before put on the table of any peace process in the world," FARC statement said.
In a statement to the media in Havana by Pablo Catatumbo also known as Jorge Torres Victoria, a guerrilla leader, said the FARC defended the concept of "political crime" which, according to the insurgents in Colombia "has been severely watered down by criminalising us and defining us as terrorists."
The leader recalled that the constitution of 1991 "lays down rules about political crime, while acknowledging the possibility of favourable treatment in its anticipation of amnesties and pardons for rebels", measures which, according to the FARC, have worked well in other countries to get their peace processes going.
However, "the framework created over these 20 years was orchestrated by the government, Congress, the Attorney General`s Office and a large part of the judiciary, in order to deny us the condition of armed insurgents and consequently to deny us being worthy of those measures," the FARC said.
The FARC noted, as an example, that of the more than 2,000 guerrillas jailed in Colombia, only 125 have been sentenced for the crime of rebellion.
For the insurgents, the only way forward is "a deep political and judicial reform" arising from the Havana accords that "bring back to the state the identity of political crime that has been broken."
The current peace talks in Havana must come up with a new law that deals with the specifics of the Colombian armed conflict and, as it comes to an end, must find a new balance of peace, justice and reparations," the insurgent group said.
The FARC released the statement at the start of a new day of negotiations with the Colombian government in Havana.
Both sides resumed negotiations last Wednesday after overcoming the worst crisis to the peace process, which was caused by the kidnapping of Gen. Ruben Dario Alzate and another two people, all of whom were freed Nov 30.