February 27, 2021

Colombia, dismayed by the murder of the son of a former FARC guerrilla

Colombia, dismayed by the murder of the son of a former FARC guerrilla

The most recent victim of the Colombian armed conflict, whose case has dismayed the country on Wednesday, was called Samuel David: he was seven months old and his father is a former guerrilla of the FARC who believed in peace but to whom his past had an painful "bill of collection".

The child was born after the Colombian government and the FARC signed a peace agreement in 2016 to end 60 years of fighting that left more than eight million victims in the country.

He was part of the so-called "baby boom" of what was the oldest guerrilla in America, thanks to which some 800 babies were born and another 258 are about to arrive.

Along with her parents, Carlos Enrique González, 23, and Sandra Pushaina, 19, the child lived in the Territorial Training and Reintegration Space (ETCR) of Tierra Grata, located in the Caribbean department of Cesar and which is part of the places where some 8,000 ex-combatants remain after handing over their weapons.

The three traveled last weekend to the department of La Guajira, bordering Venezuela, so that González's family knew the baby, who they said was the symbol of his father's new life, far from the conflict he was part of during six years.

At that time, the ex-guerrilla, known by the alias of "Gustavo", was in the ranks of the 41st front of the FARC, which committed a crime between Cesar and the neighboring country.

Although 128 former members of the FARC have been killed since the signing of the peace agreement, González felt calm because he had not received threats.

For that reason, on April 13, he chatted with his family in the humble home where they reside and went to bed at 10 o'clock at night.

Four hours later he was awakened by bullets. The conflict returned from the hand of several strangers who shot indiscriminately at those who were in the house.

A cousin of the ex-combatant died in the attack; Carlos Enrique received two shots; Sandra got a bullet in her leg, and Samuel David, who kept crying, had one of his lower extremities destroyed.

Out of fear, the neighbors, belonging to the Wayuú ethnic group, only came to help them around 6 in the morning.

By that time, little Samuel David had bled to death, and his parents, injured, were taken to a medical center in the municipality of Maicao, where they were discharged.

"We repudiate the murder of seven-month-old Samuel David, the son of demobilized people who genuinely decided to rejoin civil life," Colombian President Iván Duque said on his Twitter account today.

The president condemned the act, which he said "will not go unpunished," and asked the authorities to "advance the investigations to find those responsible."

This case aroused not only fear among former guerrillas who have repeatedly denounced death threats from extreme right-wing groups, but also the solidarity of national and international entities that continue to bet on peace.

Indeed, the UN reported yesterday that will donate three million dollars for the care and protection of children who were born after signing the agreement.

According to the director of the Agency for Reincorporation, Andrés Stapper, with the money will be created in all territorial spaces centers for the protection and care of minors.

In the 24 Territorial Training and Reintegration Spaces there are currently 2,935 ex-combatants of the FARC, while the rest of the demobilized are in other areas of the country.

Ironically and in spite of the murders, in the most recent survey carried out by the Government of the total, 76% of the ex-combatants are optimistic about their future within the reincorporation process.

"This is a demonstration of confidence of the guerrilla in the seriousness of the actions undertaken by the Government to facilitate the link to society of those who laid down their arms and folded to the path of legality," the presidential adviser said. Stabilization and Consolidation, Emilio Archila.

However, as expressed in a statement by the ETCR where Samuel David lived, the child was born "as a symbol of hope for the construction of peace" and died "to remind us that the conditions of coexistence are distant even in the midst of a social order. in full decadence. "


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