CSN Statement on the Current Crisis

[Note: This went out on the CSN’s mailing list on January 11.  The negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC have been suspended, and the Colombian government has given the FARC 48 hours to leave the demilitarized zone, a large portion of territory under FARC’s control.  The government is building up troops around the zone and the US has offered unconditional support to the Colombian government– ZNet Colombia]

Colombia Support Network believes a negotiated solution to the conflict in Colombia is the only way possible to end the war.

Colombia Support Network believes that the Colombian government and the FARC must consider the presence of the United Nations and the international community to facilitate and mediate when the conversations are at a standstill. The negotiations should consider the recommendations of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations.

Colombia Support Network believes that in order to be legitimate, negotiations must incorporate all sectors of Colombian society, particularly the ones who have suffered most from the violence, such as the displaced, women, children, kidnapped persons and their relatives, and the relatives of victims of massacres and selective killings.

Colombia Support Network believes that the negotiations should focus on the essential fundamental issues that will bring peace with justice and not to spend more time arguing over the mechanics of the negotiations. Colombians must realize that without fundamental structural changes in Colombian society there will be no peace.

Colombia Support Network calls upon the presidential candidates to consider the importance of the negotiations and not to try to use them for their own political agenda.

Colombia Support Network calls upon the mass media in Colombia not to manipulate information. Their responsibility is too big. Only structural reforms will bring peace and manipulating public opinion does not help.

Colombia Support Network calls upon the government of our country, the United States, to support peace with justice in Colombia with deeds, not just words, and to stop fueling the war machinery that is destroying Colombia.

Colombia Support Network believes strongly in the force and spirituality of non-violence and therefore calls upon all sectors of Colombian society to explore different avenues to seek peace with justice.

Colombia Support Network reminds the Colombian army that it also came from a guerrilla movement which was created to pursue justice and freedom. The historical responsibility of being Simon Bolivar¹s army should motivate its leaders to show the greatness and generosity of their founder and not to follow imposed ideologies at the service of foreign powers.

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