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Issue #1568      10 October 2012

Peace process in Colombia

Statement from INSPP

The International Network in Solidarity with Colombia’s Political Prisoners welcomes the commencement of formal negotiations between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army, FARC-EP on October 8 in Oslo, Norway.

We ratify our support for a political solution to end the social and armed conflict in Colombia.

We hope that the government of President Santos is entering the negotiations with the FARC-EP in good faith so that the disappointments and tragedies of past attempts at negotiating are not repeated. This peace negotiation acknowledges that there is a social and armed conflict in the country fought by belligerent forces. We welcome the statement made by the National Liberation Army, ELN that they are also willing to participate in such peace negotiations.

We recognise that this step has been taken in response to political pressure from the people of Colombia and the upsurge in political mobilisation of democratic forces for peace with social justice in the country. We pay our respects to those forces and wish them continued success.

Without sovereignty, genuine land reform and democratic rights there will be no long-term peace in Colombia. We believe that the current peace process is an important step towards achieving those goals. We support calls for a truce in the conflict to coincide with the negotiations but recognise that it need not be a precondition for the beginning of formal negotiations between the parties.

The FARC-EP has released all of its prisoners of war with the commitment to cease any kidnapping for economic reasons. We call on the Colombian government to demonstrate its good faith by the immediate release of the estimated 10,000 political prisoners held in Colombian prisons including those extradited to the US: Simon Trinidad, Sonia and Ivan Vargas. All are victims of the internal armed conflict in the country.

We congratulate the people of Colombia for their long struggle for peace as guarantors for a successful peace process.

We call on the international community to support and accompany the peace process in Colombia. This can be done through the formation of friends of the peace process to provide trust and security to the parties at the negotiating table.

www.inspp.org  

Next article – Call for immediate release of ASIO-negative refugees

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