The government of Colombia faces a big crisis in the very fragile peace accord that they signed with the rebel left-wing FARC ( Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) in 2016. A former top commander of the FARC, who helped broker the peace deal has been arrested for drug trafficking and a breakaway group kidnapped and murdered three journalists from Ecuador.
When Colombia and the FARC finally agreed to a peace accord two years ago, it ended 52 years of strife where over a quarter of a million were dead and several million Colombians displaced. Internationally, the deal was praised as a landmark, where the former rebels put down their weapons and became part of the political process. As part of the deal, 10 former FARC commanders were guaranteed a spot in the country’s congress.
But many Americans were skeptical, especially those who had spent time in Colombia and had witnessed first-hand how the FARC had ceased being only a rebel political force but had become a full-blown criminal enterprise that got its money by drug trafficking, kidnapping, and murder. Those fears came to light when the United States indicted Seuxis Hernandez, also better known as Jesus Santrich, by US courts and the Colombian general prosecutor with conspiracy to ship 10,000kg of cocaine – with a street value of $320 million dollars to the United States.
Santrich was born in Toluviejo in Sucre province in 1966, at the age of 16 he entered Atlantico University and joined the Communist Youth Movement. He joined FARC in 1988 and was the “Voice of the Resistance” on the rebel’s radio station. He suffers from a genetic condition that forces him to wear sunglasses all the time and it is said that he’s now nearly completely blind.
What makes this even worse is, Santrich was continuing to act in the criminal enterprise of shipping the cocaine to the U.S. after the peace accord was signed. He was one of the key brokers of the peace deal and one of the former FARC commanders sitting in their Congress.
The FARC cried foul and have accused the United States of drumming up the charges, citing the visit of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year. But the written and video evidence against Santrich, along with three other former rebels, who were also arrested is strong.
The vast majority of Colombians, unlike the world opinion, didn’t think much of the peace accord or the FARC members who ran for elections. FARC candidates received less than 50,000 votes in the last election. Most Colombians, after seeing first-hand what they were about, had no illusions about the FARC giving up their criminal ways. A Gallup poll conducted in February showed that more than 73 percent of Colombians