Posted on July 4, 2017 7:43 am
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Categories: Transitions

Former M-19 Leaders, Now Political Adversaries, Discuss 1991 Disarming: Evert Bustamante and Antonio Navarro (S)

Antonio Navarro Wolff and Evert Bustamante were comrades in arms. As leaders of the 19 April Movement (M-19) for years they waged war on the State and participated in one way or another in tragic events such as the assault on the Palace of Justice, in November of 1985. Years later, they both agreed to lay down their weapons, face justice and join the political process by participating in democratic elections.

In 1990, Bustamante became one of the first M-19 congressmen. He was elected to the Chamber by Cundinamarca and Bogota, with one of the highest voter turnouts of the time. Navarro made the most important decision of his guerrilla life: 46 days after signing an agreement with the government, Carlos Pizarro, the guerrilla’s top commander, was murdered. Navarro had in his hands the power to continue the process or return to the armed struggle. Both decided, from their stage, to bet on peace.

Bustamante has been a senator, mayor, director of Coldeportes and adviser to the presidency. Navarro was member of the National Constituent Assembly, congressman, secretary of Government of the mayoralty of Bogota and governor. Today, paradoxically, they are on opposite camps. Bustamante is a member of the Democratic Center, the party that leads the opposition to the peace process in Colombia; Navarro has been one of the strongest supporters in the Congress of negotiations with the guerrillas and the implementation of the agreements. Pacifista.