USOC and LAWGEF Applaud Peace Negotiations in Colombia

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US Office on Colombia and Latin America Working Group Education Fund Applaud Steps towards Peace Negotiations in Colombia

We applaud the announcement that the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have agreed to begin formal negotiations. We salute Colombia in this effort to bring a negotiated end to the nearly 50-year-old internal conflict. We also are encouraged to hear the National Liberation Army’s (ELN) stated willingness to enter into peace talks.

We believe it is imperative that combatants and civilians alike be guaranteed the full application of human rights and international humanitarian law protections throughout this process.

A lasting peace requires addressing the root causes of the conflict.  The peace process must include substantial space for civil society involvement and input, including by women, Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities and other sectors brutally affected by the war, in order to ensure that historic underlying economic and social conflicts and decades of human rights abuses and international humanitarian law violations by all parties to the conflict are addressed.

We hope that this initiative brings about the lasting peace with justice that Colombians long for and deserve.

September 10, 2012