Between a cheap pizzeria and a cafe on Bogotá’s Seventh Avenue, the main artery, a plaque recalls the exact place where the liberal leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitán was assassinated in 1948.

Although the appearance of the FARC would come 16 years later, historians locate the germ of the oldest guerrilla in Latin America in the death of the charismatic politician, and in the popular uprising that accompanied him later, which left the center of the capital reduced to ashes.

All Colombians know the name of the first dead by heart, but very few remember the last, Jaime Perdomo, a 30-year-old man with tanned skin and three children, killed five months ago by a sniper from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). ). He was the last of the 267,162 dead -data from the Victims Unit- that leaves half a century of confrontation between the Colombian State and the guerrillas, according to the Resource Center for Conflict Analysis (CERAC).

Soldier Perdomo and his comrades from the 6th Division were patrolling a remote FARC-controlled region of Caquetá, dotted with coca plantations, when a sniper shot him sneakily while he was resting on a rock. He was chatting relaxedly with his partner when, out of the greenery, the barrel of an R-15 poked out, firing a bullet that entered his armpit and pierced his heart.

The Army blamed the last death of the longest conflict on the continent on El Trueno , a cold-blooded guerrilla with an impeccable pulse who in just 20 days killed two more soldiers in the same way. After Perdomo’s death, the Army distributed hundreds of flyers with the face of El Trueno and offered a reward of 100 million pesos – almost 35,000 dollars – for any clue that would lead to his capture.

But the death of Jaime Perdomo Valencia will never enter history as absurd and inopportune. After almost four years of negotiations in Havana, Perdomo’s death on May 7 came at a time of deadlock at the negotiating table between the guerrillas and the government. In the midst of the desperation of public opinion, the president, Juan Manuel Santos, made efforts to highlight the advances in the discussion and silence the problems. And Perdomo’s death was a problem.

“The president did not even refer to him. They despised him as if he were an animal, ”recalls his mother, Eugenia María Valencia, a housewife who lives by sewing other people’s clothes and selling cosmetics by catalog in Florencia, department of Caquetá.

I would tell Timochenko that I don’t want his forgiveness. His words are not going to give me back my husband

“My vote today is No. They are not going to return my son to me because of a peace agreement,” he says with a forcefulness about to crumble. “All these people are scoundrels and cowards,” he explains when referring to the guerrilla leaders who these days walk around dressed in white guayaberas on the news and on the front pages. “What hurts me the most is that they say he died in combat and that’s false, they cowardly murdered him from behind,” he adds.

The FARC guerrillas responded to that massacre with a few brief words in which they insisted on their willingness to maintain the ceasefire announced in July 2015, but also on their need to defend themselves. After all, that was one of the conditions imposed by Santos during the four years of negotiation: “Nothing that happens on the battlefield will affect the negotiation.”

His widow, Noreisi Velasco, does not want to know anything about the news, the newspapers, peace, or the gestures of forgiveness that are multiplying these days. However, five months after her death, her wife is hurt more by the bullets that come from the military institution to which her husband gave 11 years of life, than those from the guerrillas. “When they are alive they are the best but when they are dead they abandon us and treat us like dogs,” she accuses.

The agreement reached in Cuba includes a payment to each demobilized guerrilla of about two million pesos (685 dollars) plus a monthly salary for two years of another 620,000 pesos (220 dollars). A figure that outrages his widow. “On the other hand, due to the death of my husband, I am entitled to a pension of 600,000 pesos (205 dollars) and that is not even enough to eat with three small children.”

Of the 267,162 deaths left by 52 years of conflict, 81% of the deceased are civilians and 19% are soldiers or guerrillas, according to the Victims Unit.

Pamphlets distributed by the Sixth Division

Since Santos and Timochenko signed peace on Monday, September 26, these are days of public forgiveness on both sides. On Thursday the leaders of the FARC did so in Bojayá (Chocó), after a massacre in 2001 in which more than one hundred people died due to the guerrilla attack on a church where the population was sheltering. On Friday it was in La Chinita (Apartadó) for the death of 35 people in 1994. In the same way, Santos repeated his forgiveness on Friday in Soacha, on the outskirts of Bogotá, for the responsibility of the State towards the eight million victims left behind. the armed conflict. However, the loudest pardon was heard on Monday in Cartagena de Indias when the FARC’s top leader, Timoleón Jiménez, Timochenko, apologized “to all the victims of the conflict.”

What would you say to Timochenko? “I don’t think these people waste their time coming to one’s house,” replies his widow. “But I would tell him that I don’t want his forgiveness. That I just want to see him in jail and with his words they will not return my husband to me, ”she adds, crying. “They do not know the great damage they have done.”

A part of Colombia voted this Sunday for her to be the last widow and another for El Trueno never to leave a prison.

Previous articleThe story of the Italian baker who created the most famous biscuits in Argentina
Next articleWhat if Marine Le Pen won the French election? These graphic novels decode a possible far-right future