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Find here the latest news reports from the peace process, straight from Havana, Cuba. Permanently updated. 
Thursday, 15 December 2016 00:00

US Congressmen worried about assassinations of leaders in Colombia

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The US has had a historic active role in Colombian affairs in economic, social, political and conflict ambits. After the fueling of millions of dollars to reach a military defeat over insurgencies and failing to reach such objective, the political strategy has been slowly shifting towards a negotiated solution.

Without falling into naive interpretations, the change of strategy of the US in Colombia by supporting Peace Talks between the Government and the FARC-EP is good news for all those who believe that the socio-political and armed conflict requires political solutions without violent impositions.

A few days ago, 37 Democratic congressmen sent a letter to John Kerry requesting him to press for an end to violence against social leaders.

This group of congressmen led by Democrat Jim McGovern expressed their concern on the increase of violence against social leaders as well as human right defenders in Colombia. “We write to express our greatest sense of urgency and extreme concern regarding the escalation of murders, threats and attacks” states the letter, while urging John Kerry to “press and work with the Colombian government to publicly condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms”.

“We emphatically condemn these murders and the intimidation of social leaders and activists.  They are the very human capital that Colombia requires as it now faces the challenges of implementing the peace accords, promoting development and political participation, and providing guarantees for truth, justice, reparations and an end to violence. Colombia does not need more victims; it needs community, regional and national leaders willing to take on these challenges”.

Indeed, the implementation of peace agreements and a democratic opening that allows the participation of not only the FARC-EP but all political opponents without being subject to violent, legal and media persecution constitutes an enormous step towards the construction of Peace.

The causes that have generated and reproduced the armed conflict need to be transformed in order for war to come to a true end and to move on into a scenario where political differences can be resolved within the framework of democracy and without the use of political violence.

The US foreign policy towards Colombia has always been agreed by a bipartisan committee in which there are still differences on the role that the US should have in the context of Peace in Colombia. Some Republicans have rejected this new policy towards Colombia and are inclined towards the support of former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, who has been a fierce opponent to peace.

Reference:

"McGovern, House Lawmakers Urge Secretary Kerry to Condemn Violence in Colombia, Work to Protect Human Rights Defenders" Taken from: http://mcgovern.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/mcgovern-house-lawmakers-urge-secretary-kerry-to-condemn-violence-in

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