Saturday, March 18, 2017

From Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP : Urgent Concerns About the Peace Process in Colombia

"The ethnic organizations and dioceses that have jurisdiction in the state of Chocó, we want to reiterate that it continued to place our hopes on the negotiated solution in the armed and social conflicts that have historically affected our nation. Both the signing of the Peace Agreement between the National Government and the FARC guerrillas, as well as the beginning of negotiations with the ELN in Quito, are positive signs in the arduous quest to build the roads than the synthesizers.

However, we observe with great concern the phenomena that may put our faith in crisis in an eventual successful outcome of the peace processes:

Faced with the peace agreement with the FARC supposed to be concerned about the lack of logistic adaptation of the Verbal Areas and Camps; The recurrent tendency in some social and political sectors to ignore the agreements and signed; The lack of clarity in the dismantling of militia structures in both rural and urban areas; And the flaws in the use of the ethnic chapter of the agreements, especially by the ignorance of the rules of prior consultation.
The ELN is concerned about the way in which they have been occupying the territory of ethnic populations and their community spaces, putting the communities and their authorities at risk.
As in many regions of the country, in Chocó we are witnesses of a wide, open and systematic advance of illegal armed groups with the discourse and attitudes of paramilitarism that occupy territories that the Public Force can not control, causing the sense of lack of protection of the communities . In recent weeks and months documents have been released, both from sectors of the Church as well as popular organizations and other voices of civil society that express alarm about this phenomenon.
In urban centers, violence and criminality continue to be particularly prevalent among young people and marginal sectors. The population in general, shows signs of despair by the insecurity and lack of effectiveness of the authorities. Likewise, there are testimonies of the presence of groups related to paramilitarism that control the sectors of the urban centers and take on their own actions of execution, putting in question the Social State of Law.
Demands and exhortations:
To the Colombian State we demand mechanisms of protection to the inhabitants of the Chocó, recovering the exercise of the monopoly of the arms according to the norms of the State of Right. Likewise, for the longing for peace of the Chocoano people, the implementation phase of the Havana agreements and the nascent negotiation with the ELN, the society expects concrete results in the control and disarticulation of criminal and paramilitary bands. While it lost the authorization of sectors of the Armed Forces and other state agencies against the activation of these armed groups, the Peace Process loses credibility.
To the guerrillas of the FARC and ELN, the demands persevere in the will and the commitment to put an end to the armed conflicts responding to the expectations of the Civil Society.
We invite the diplomatic corps accredited in Colombia and the United Nations system to support the Peace Process and all civil society initiatives that lead to the completion of the armed conflict and the construction of peace for all the territories of Colombia. Colombian people
We urge the media, local, regional, national and international, with updated information on what happened in this context, being important allies to make visible the humanitarian crisis in Chocó.
The God of life enlightens us and strengthens us in the search for ways of conversion that bring us closer to fraternal coexistence in a reconciled country."

Quibdó, March 17, 2017

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