Colombia’s president is asking forgiveness for the state’s role in the killings of leftist activists in the 1980s. Some 3,000 activists belonging to the Patriotic Union were slain by paramilitary death squads sometimes in collaboration with state security forces after the political party was set up in the 1980s during peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
President Juan Manuel Santos said on September 15 that the party’s “extermination” should have never taken place. He called on Colombians to respect the political movement that will be formed with the FARC’s signing of a peace deal with the government.
Santos said FARC leaders’ trust of the state to protect them is a sign the tragedy is unlikely to repeat itself.