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Former FARC fighters 'murdered in Colombia' despite peace deal

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Former FARC fighters 'murdered in Colombia' despite peace deal

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At least 22 former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) members have been murdered in Colombia since the beginning of 2018, according to state prosecutor Martha Janeth Mancera.

Eight of the killings have been attributed to other paramilitary groups as well as FARC dissidents, while the rest, bar one, are still being investigated, she told a press conference on Tuesday.

The murders bring the total number of deaths among ex-FARC combatants, relatives and associates to 40 since the guerilla group accepted a peace deal with the Colombian government in November 2016, ending its 50-year fight for power.

Within seven months, the group had also disarmed itself before reforming in July as a communist political party called the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force.

The latest former FARC member to be assassinated has been named as Juan Vicente Carvajal, who went by the alias “Misael”. The ex-guerilla fighter died on Monday in Arauca Department near the Venezuelan border.

FARC party leader Rodrigo “Timoshenko” Londono said Carvajal “played a major role in the conflicts that took place in Arauca and which opened so many wounds".

He added that Carvajal, who was released from prison shortly after the peace agreement was signed, "knew of the presence of paramilitary elements and dissidents in the region who publicly threaten former members of the FARC".

Carvajal made headlines in 2015 after a US extradition request seeking the rebel on drug trafficking charges was rejected by Colombia while peace talks were ongoing.

But hours after his murder, FARC released a statement slamming the Colombian authorities for failing to live up to their side of the peace accord by providing adequate protection to former fighters and their families as they rejoined society.