(Translated by Stephanie DiBello, a CSN volunteer translator )
Letter from the Colombian society to the secretary of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
Bogotá DC., September 11, 2008-10-28
Gentleman of the Secretariat:
The solution of the complex crisis that ails the society and the Colombian State demands a wise reflection like the participation of the distinct sectors expressed in civil society and of those committed actors in the internal armed conflict that encumbers the country. The object is to avoid damaging the institutions and promote the construction of a full democracy with social justice and peace for everyone.
With this in mind, we aspire to open pathways that lead to the formation of a Humanitarian Accord that will allow for the liberation of those in the power of the armed insurgency FARC and, in due time, the liberation of the FARC prisoners under jurisdiction of the State.
We understand that a different alternative to political understanding in order to achieve a Humanitarian Accord and facilitate a negotiated solution to the conflict would entail suffering of important sectors of the population, imminent danger for the lives of those captive in the jungle, degradation of the war, and encouragement of militarization, authoritarianism, and an institutional weakening of the national political process.
The escalation of the confrontation has transcended the national geography and impacts the territories of surrounding countries with diverse acts of institutional violence that have strained diplomatic relations of our country.
Nevertheless, we are sure that the presidents and heads of State in the hemisphere and in our designated friendly European countries would agree in solidarity to support the process of dialogue that we are proposing.
For the aforementioned reasons and with the intention to embark starting now on a search for solutions towards a peaceful Colombia and the peace of the human beings affected by the conflict, we cordially invite you to develop a public dialogue through a written exchange through which you, us, and the Colombian society in general can identify the elements that would allow for an agenda that may clarify the route to an understanding, in honor of the longed-for humanitarian exchange.
We recognize that substantial opinion already exists favoring the promotion of contrary solutions to the armed conflict and that it is time to gather the appropriate actors in order to generate a democratic debate on the topics of peace and war in Colombia, with the goal of promoting a pacific coexistence within a new social ethic.
Senator Piedad Cordoba and more signatures following hers ……………
Sent Tuesday, October 28th at 12:44:44
Mountains of Colombia, October 16, 2008
With great pleasure we have received your September letter inviting us to collectively explore roads to peace, far from the current government path of perpetual war that unfeasibly relies on a military solution to solve the political, economic, and social problems underlying this bloody conflict that rattles the country.
We welcome the emergence of a wave of opinion that distinguishes itself from the method of false triumph and the parameters of the bellicose solution to great national problems. We do not doubt your support for peace because it coincides with the sentiment and longing for peace shared by most.
This letter marks the beginning of a Written Exchange that you propose to us in order to discuss a political solution to the conflict, the humanitarian exchange, and peace. We will participate with the people in an in-depth and frank dialogue, without dogmatism, without sectarianism, and without the disqualification of any issues you suggest. It is necessary to strive to connect with as many political and social organizations and independent persons as possible.
No matter what we will are willing to explore possibilities towards a humanitarian exchange and peace with social justice, which today is the cry and most urgent need and sentiment of the entire nation. The recent unilateral liberation of the six ex-members of congress, handed over to Hugo Chavez and Senator Piedad Cordoba, aimed to create favorable conditions for an exchange of prisoners in the power of the State. This fact is a certified testimony of political will.
We very respectfully suggest, in order to strengthen this new endeavor, that you take into account the expressed willingness of the majority of Latin American presidents to contribute their efforts in the process of humanitarian exchange and peace.
The immense flag of peace with social justice should wave forever, free, underneath the Colombian sky. The eternal war against the people that they want to impose on us in order to perpetuate injustice cannot be the destiny of the country.
Secretary of State of the FARC-EP
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621