Colombia, breathe new life into Peace Process

Image: Na het tekenen van het vredesakkoord speldt de Colombiaanse president Santos FARC leider Jiménez een vredesduif op zijn jas. Foto U.S. Department of State / CC Wikimedia Commons

September 3, 2019

PAX urges leaders in Colombia to redouble their efforts to implement the Peace Accords. The recent top FARC commander’s announcement of “a new stage of fighting” should not torpedo the entire process.

The historic accords, reached nearly three years ago, brought an end to 52 years of war which cost at least 220,000 people their lives and displaced millions. The senior Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) commander Luciano Marín (known by his alias Iván Márquez) took part in the peace talks, but now claims the government has violated its part of the agreement and, together with several other top commanders, has issued a new call to arms.

Violence is not the answer
The move threatens to derail the peace process. However, PAX believes that Marín’s announcement leaves the door open for dialogue. We urge his group not to participate in terrorist acts that further affect the civilian population. Having participated in various peace processes since 1989, PAX continues to believe that violence is not the solution.

Mixed results
The implementation of the peace accords has been slow, particularly when it comes to helping victims and developing the former conflict zones. PAX urges the Colombian government to fulfil all its commitments to former combatants and to speed up the implementation of programs that benefit victims and carry out the social development plans in conflict zones, as stipulated in the Peace Accords.

At the same time, the creation and operation of the Peace Tribunal has brought winds of hope, as well as the strengthening of Colombian justice system.

Support the process
PAX will always support initiatives that benefit the victims of the conflict. Therefore, we urge the Colombian government to avoid escalation of the conflict, and invite the entire Colombian population to increase its support for peace initiatives with the aim of getting all parties back at the table.

Read PAX’s full statement

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