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UN calls on Colombia to protect former FARC fighters

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UN calls on Colombia to protect former FARC fighters

The United Nations emissary to Colombia, Carlos Ruiz, today called on the Colombian government to protect former combatants from the former guerrilla of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting, Carlos Ruiz warned that peace in Colombia "cannot be fully achieved if the courageous voices of the social leaders continue to be silenced by violence and the gunslingers continue to die."

According to the UN mission in Colombia, in 2019 there were 77 murders of former FARC Marxist guerrillas, compared with 65 in 2018 and 31 in 2017.

Since the signing of the peace agreement between the FARC and the government of former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in November 2016, 173 deaths, 14 missing and 29 attempted murders have been reported.

According to Colombian authorities, 80% of the attacks were perpetrated by armed groups and criminal organizations with links to drug trafficking and other illegal activities.

Colombian Foreign Minister Claudia Blum has already confirmed the decision of Colombian President Iván Duque to extend until 2022 the UN mission in the country.

The dissolution of the FARC guerrilla, now a political party, and the disarmament of 7,000 combatants have reduced the level of violence in Colombia, but armed groups, including those with links to the far right, remain active in the backward areas of the country, fed mainly by for the resources extracted from drug trafficking.

Former FARC guerrillas and community leaders are generally considered to be an obstacle for these criminal groups, who seek to control their territories also to increase illegal cocaine-producing cocaine crops.

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