Bogota, April 3, 2020. The International Civil Society Organizations that subscribe to this communiqué identify in the unilateral ceasefire ordered by the ELN starting on April 1, 2020, and in the reactivation of the figure of the peace managers (gestores de paz) by the government of Ivan Duque, a possibility to return to the path of dialogue with this guerrilla group; a path which must be prioritized over any other.
Also, with great concern, we note and warn about the continuation of killings against people who defend peace and human rights, including those who signed the Final Peace Agreement with the Farc-Ep.
We also warn about the aggressions and effects caused by the presence of illegal armed groups which have led to, according to a MAPP OAS report, “confinements and forced displacements of communities in Alto Baudó (Chocó), Roberto Payán (Nariño), Algeria and El Tambo (Cauca), as well as harassments at police stations in Northern Cauca which put civilians at high risk.”1 During the quarantine, eight people have been killed, three of them were in the process of reintegrating.
This is a time for, as the director of the UN Mission in Colombia says, consolidating efforts to protect the lives of the most vulnerable. The Colombian State must ensure that the measures taken to address the pandemic do not become a new factor that endangers and violates the rights of the country’s most impoverished people.
We call on the Colombian State to take all preventive measures to protect the lives of social leaders, people who reintegrated, people deprived of liberty, and in general those who live in areas impacted by violence and poverty.
We will remain vigilant, amid restrictions that we encourage to be observed closely, that the human rights of all people on Colombian territory are respected.
We continue our humanitarian and human rights work despite the restrictions emanating from the actions taken by the national government and by local governments.
It is an act of humanity to stop any violent action in the midst of the pandemic. Life above all else!
Maria Cristina Umbarila Chacón Technical Secretary Cooperation Space for Peace [email protected]