COLOMBIA SUPPORT NETWORK celebrates the agreement for ending the war achieved yesterday in Havana between representatives of the Colombian Government and the FARC guerrillas, ending the longest and bloodiest war in the Western Hemisphere. The suffering that this war has caused is virtually incalculable—1906 villages destroyed by massacres; 7 million displaced peasants; 280,000 civilians killed by all the armed actors together; the political genocide against the Union Patriotica Party formed by the FARC after a previous peace agreement; the suffering of the kidnapped victims; the “false disappeared” —civilians killed purposely by the Colombian Army in order to increase their body count; the more than 45,000 disappeared due to the conflict; the thousands of women raped and humiliated. The paramilitaries, whose favorite tactic was to cut people alive with chainsaws, wreaked havoc in the countryside. People fled in terror, leaving behind their land and possessions, which went into the hands of the attackers. All of this we fervently hope will come to an end.
But the most difficult part comes now: to make peace a reality and to construct it day by day. Truth, justice with acceptance of responsibility, reparations and non-repetition by all sides are indispensable conditions for a stable peace. The Colombian government should be the first to provide an example by protecting rural and isolated regions from predators like paramilitaries, which are still around although the Colombian Government denies their existence.
And the United States government also must do its part by emphasizing support for activities related to the Peace Agreement. The focus of U.S. policy should be on helping to construct a peaceful nation, not on training of Colombian military, maintaining military bases and providing military aid. Also the U.S.’s chemical war, spraying crops with glyphosate, must end. We call upon the American people to accompany and monitor the building of peace.
CSN thanks the governments of Norway and Cuba for their invaluable part in the building of this peace process.
CSN always has called for a negotiated solution and we are very pleased with yesterday’s announcement.
Colombia Support Network’s Board of Directors