Demobilized fighters from Colombia's leftist FARC rebels want to form a professional league football club, officials said Friday. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have disarmed under a peace deal after a half-century conflict and are transitioning to civil and political life. "We received about 10 days ago an official message... from the FARC, who want to talk with the Colombian football authorities about taking part in the professional game," Jorge Perdomo, president of Colombian football's organizing body Dimayor said on Blu Radio. He said the FARC had asked if it could enter the men's second division and the women's leagues. Digital Journal
UNITED NATIONS -- The Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday authorizing a new U.N. political mission in Colombia to focus on reintegrating leftist rebels into society after more than 50 years of war -- a task the United Nations calls the most urgent challenge following the FARC rebels' handover of their last weapons.
A British-drafted resolution establishes the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia for an initial period of one year starting on Sept. 17, when the mandate of the current mission that has been monitoring the cease-fire and disarmament process ends. It asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to make detailed recommendations on the size, operational aspects, and mandate of the new mission within 45 days.
Latin America's longest-running conflict caused at least 250,000 deaths, left 60,000 people missing and displaced more than 7 million. After years of thorny negotiations, the rebels reached an agreement with the government last year to transition into a political party, but serious differences remain over the peace deal. [...] CBS News
"There is no doubt that reintegration of FARC fighters will be challenging as the #Colombian people have shown that they are not quick to forgive. [Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia, Jean] Arnault -- who has been given the task of reintegration -- told the security council that they would be focused on providing security to some of the fighters and to some areas to ensure a smooth process. The UN envoy will be working to unite the parties and bring confidence to many who are still reluctant". Blasting News
Colombia will live an historic day on Tuesday when in a ceremonial gathering in a FARC camps the rebels will lay down their last weapons to become a political party. The event will take place in one of the FARC transitional camps, in the Buenavista, also called La Guajira and located in the municipality of Mesetas, department of Meta. The government will be represented by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who last Friday in an public event in Paris proclaimed the end of the FARC as an armed group. The insurgents will be represented by their top leader, Rodrigo Londoño, Alias "Timochenko". The United Nations announced today that it has already stockpiled the FARC's 7,332 individual weapons. Caracol Radio
For three days starting July 20 theaters across Colombia will show a documentary film on the end of the conflict between Colombia and the guerrillas of FARC. El silencio de los fusiles (The silence of the guns) is the outcome of that project that the paisa journalist started four years ago with a question in her head: "Why did the same men and women who for so long made war and sent so many young people to their deaths in battle rose to fight what I believe is the most difficult and definitive battle for Colombia: that of peace." El Heraldo
It should also be noted that, among the universe of respondents, 9,929 are Colombians. The rest comes from Venezuela (54), Ecuador (16), Brazil (8), Chile (2), Argentina (1), Netherlands (1), Panama (1), Dominican Republic . Furthermore, 77% of the guerrillas who took part in the socio-economic census are men and 23% are women. Also, 66% is of rural origin; 19%, urban, and 15%, urban-rural.90% of the guerrilla members know how to read and write; 57% have primary basic education; 21%, secondary; 8%, vocational average, and the last 3%, higher education. Only 11% of the respondents do not have any education. Along the same lines, there is an alarming number: as of today 77% lack a home in which to live. These data are undoubtedly vital to take into consideration when prioritizing results producing reincorporation projects. El Espectador
Like many of the rebels, Ms. López is afraid of what might happen now that the former guerrillas must depend on the state for protection. She mentioned the last time the FARC experimented with political participation, running candidates for office under the Patriotic Union party banner, only to face massacres by right-wing paramilitary groups that the government failed to stop. Those groups still exist. “They could kill us one by one,” Ms. López said. [...] The New York Times
Journalist Alfredo Molano has explored almost all of Colombia to document through his books and chronicles the nation's depth and, as someone who understands the nation's reality, believes that "many guarantees are lacking" for the implementation of the peace agreement with FARC because there are regions where the presence of the state is almost non existent. El Diario.
"The reality is that in the phase of post-conflict, the Colombia Project will be decisive in building a lasting and sustainable peace. According to Rafael Mejia, major changes are to be expected as a result of the implementation of the Havana agreements. For example, demobilized FARC guerrillas will join the economic and social reintegration programs offered by the national government, and this will allow many to reunite with their families and some may return to their rural communities. This will imply that demobilized people and people affected by the conflict, including agricultural producers, will enjoy fundamental rights such as living in peace, enjoying a family, freedom of movement and many others, such as education, health, housing and work.
In this process, the rural inhabitants will be able to recover lands ravaged by the conflict and those who reintegrate will have as other Colombians opportunity to access productive land and to have a decent job. Semana