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Wednesday, 25 October 2017 12:00

FARC-ELN: Montecristi Communiqué

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Today we, the delegations of the National Liberation Army, ELN and of the party People’s Alternative Revolutionary Force, FARC have met in Montecristi, Ecuador, birthplace of national hero Eloy Alfaro, with the purpose of evaluating the development of the processes of peace being carried out with the National Government.

After deliberating for two days, we would like to state the following:

1- We state our firm decision to achieve a complete peace and the changes and transformations that the majority of Colombian people yearn for, to make a joint defense of the Peace Process and to explore common mechanisms so that the Agreement subscribed between the Government and the FARC-EP, could advance the Agenda of talks agreed between the Government and ELN, as well as harmonise the two processes. To this end, we have decided to create a joint mechanism between the two forces, the results of which will be communicated to the government, the country and the international community.

2- Recognizing progress on the political solution in recent years, we also express our rejection of persecution, shown in the growing number of murders and imprisonments of social leaders, human rights defenders and the murder of thirty former combatants of the FARC. Actions that mostly remain in impunity at the same time that the Attorney General of the Nation insists, wrongly, in not finding any connection in them.

We call on victims organisations, human rights defenders, and democratic and alternative sectors to organise, denunce, resist, mobilise, and to defend life, territory, guarantees and Human Rights of the Colombians

3- We reiterate that paramilitarism is the greatest threat to Colombia's peace, society and democracy. For this reason, it is necessary to take effective and immediate measures for the definitive dismantling of paramilitary operations and organisations and their support networks.

4- The truth that will have to be known in order to achieve Peace, will show the weaknesses of a system that requires rapid transformation and a commitment to the Never Again.

5 - The solution to the complex problem of illicit crops can no longer be an exclusively repressive treatment, of harmful results such as those witnessed in Tumaco and which threatens to spread to other regions, to fulfill commitments made with the United States. It is necessary to act wisely, with sovereignty and the State should fulfill the commitments made with the communities, implement substitution Plans, social investment programs, ensuring transparency in the management of resources, as well as the formalisation of land ownership and strengthening coexistence.

6- We express our concern for the corruption that has overtaken the social structure of the country and, in general, the public and private institutions of the Nation: the courts, the Congress, the executive branch, the Public Prosecutor's office; State’s body at regional level, as well as public and private companies.

The scandalous criminal behaviour of personalities embedded at the highest level of the public function and the private sector threatens the possibility of peace and the development of a real democracy to which we aspire.

We consider it necessary to design policies and concerted actions to put an end to this alarming situation of widespread corruption.

7- This exceptional, historic moment demands the most plural of alliances among the sectors that defend peace and transformations at political and social levels.

We call for the implementation of the Havana Agreements and for the development of participation as agreed at the Negotiation Table in Quito. We also call for the strengthening of the comprehensive implementation of social and citizen participation as stated in the First Point of the agenda agreed between the Government and the ELN.

For the good of Colombia, we affirm, from Alfaro City, Montecristi, Ecuador, that no difficulty - no matter how big - will make us falter in the conquest of peace, built on the foundations of social equity, sovereignty, truth and democracy, as the Pope recalled during his recent visit when he told the country: "Inequity is the root of social illnesses.”

ELN and FARC delegations

Montecristi, October 23, 2017