Sitio oficial

Letter to The Economist by Federico Hoyos House Representative

ogota, Colombia November 5, 2014

The Economist


To whom it may concern,

I have found with deep surprise the way you have referred to the Colombian democratic opposition as “dogs who bark” and who you place at the same level as the FARC terrorist organization in a recent article published on November, 1. It seems that you have heard only one side of the version on what is currently happening with the Colombian government peace negotiations with the drug trafficking guerrillas. Allow me to refer briefly to some of your affirmations on the quoted article and present a few considerations regarding them.

You wrote: “Mr. Uribe, now a senator, unleashes a daily blast of vituperation against his former colleague”.  It is possible that you are unaware that many of what you refer to as “vituperations” are nothing more than complaints Colombian citizens send former president Uribe regarding matters of insecurity in their hometowns and the noncompliance of promises by the national and local governments that he publishes on his social networks. The series of complaints received by Mr. Uribe are the product of many years of continuous dialogue with the community and the building of trust during his years as governor and then president. Other posts on his Twitter timeline are op edcolumns and personal opinions and analysis of national politics, whom in many cases have resulted accurate and vital for the Colombian political debate.

The “red lines that won´t be crossed” you refer to by quoting president Santos, are not as red and defined as you may think. For instance, there is uncertainty if the Colombian government is negotiating the participation in politics of guerrilla commanders that have committed crimes against humanity such as kidnapping, child recruitment and land mine planting, among others. It is also uncertain if the Colombian government will demand FARC to repair it´s numerous victims with the resources they have accumulated during more than 50 years of criminal activity. And it is also indeterminate that the FARC will effectively deliver their weapons to the government in a demobilization process. There are no red lines in this process, but rather pink blurred lines.

Lastly, it is imprecise to say that Mr. Uribe fails to admit that the talks offer a good chance of ending a conflict that has been a burden for Colombians for over half a decade. As president Uribe has publicly acknowledged; he has tried several times to begin peace talks with the guerrillas. The issue and reason why it didn´t happen, was because those groups failed to comply with basic common sense demands such as the ceasing of all criminal activity during the talks. In that sense, what Mr. Uribe and its party reject, is not the peace negotiation per se, but rather the lack of exigencies and clarity on which it has developed. Centro Democratico´s(president Uribe´s opposition party) defends the necessity of prison for those who have committed crimes against humanity, the effective delivery of weapons, demobilization and reparation of victims. Centro Democratico opposes to the idea of political participation and amnesty for those who have violated International Human Law not as a caprice but as the compliance of the Treaty of Rome.

Your article´s title is inappropriate and so are some of the affirmations you make. With it you don´t only offend a former president and current senator but also a whole political party who has a representation of 39 members in Congress, and recently obtained nearly 7 million votes in the presidential race. There is no barking in Colombia by the opposition, on the contrary there is a solid political party with a coherent argumentation based on International Law and with a broad social support.

What has been mentioned in this letter is not only our view and concerns regarding the peace talks. Our worries are also shared by national dignitaries such as Colombia´s Attorney General and International authorities such as Mrs. FatouBensouda, International Criminal Court chief prosecutor. We are open to present our views to you and have a constructive dialogue that may help your prestigious publication to have a broader and more balanced stance concerning Colombia´s political situation.



Federico Hoyos

House Representative

Centro Democratico