Lisa Haugaard, Executive Director
(202) 546-7010 | email@example.com
June 27, 2017
LAWG Celebrates Advances in Peace in Colombia as the FARC Turns in Weapons
Washington, D.C.—On June 26, the UN Mission in Colombia announced that it had stored the totality of individual arms of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) that were registered, confirming the completion of the final phase of disarmament of the former guerrilla group. A total of 7,132 arms were turned in by over 6,900 demobilized guerrillas.
The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) celebrates this important step towards peace and urges the international community to continue supporting Colombia’s peace process in this pivotal moment. Without international diplomatic and financial support, the peace process would have never progressed this far. Now more than ever is the time to reinforce U.S. and international support for human rights in a post-conflict Colombia.
“Many thought this day would never come,” says Lisa Haugaard, executive director at LAWG. “Colombia now has peace within its grasp. But there are challenges ahead. The Colombian government must comply with its promises in the accords, reintegrating former guerrillas into civilian life, helping victims rebuild their lives, ensuring Afro-Colombian and indigenous people can make the decisions that affect their communities, and building a more inclusive society. The government must ensure that no other violent actor, such as paramilitary successor groups that appear to be expanding, continues to threaten and kill human rights defenders and community leaders. The demobilized FARC need to stick to their pledge to fight only with words, not weapons. And the international community must keep its pledge to accompany and support this process.”
For more information on the peace accord implementation process and the state of human rights in Colombia, please see LAWG’s latest memo.