NGOs welcome Peace Agreement and are deeply concerned about attacks on social leaders

INTERNATIONAL CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS WELCOME THE NEW PEACE
AGREEMENT AND MANIFEST THEIR DEEP CONCERN FOR THE ATTACKS AGAINST SOCIAL
LEADERS THAT WORK IN THE PROMOTION OF PEACE IN SEVERAL REGIONS OF THE
COUNTRY

International Civil Society Organizations that endorse this statement are deeply concerned about the more than 81 violent actions perpetrated against social leaders after the bilateral cease-fire was declared by the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP on August 26, 2016. These include assassinations, threats, attacks, robberies and harassment among other modalities. The aggressions have intensified dramatically in recent weeks, placing the sustainability of the implementation of the peace agreements at serious risk.
We express our solidarity to the families and the victim’s organizations.
The new Peace Agreement that was achieved between the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP- after several sessions of dialogue between the Government and representatives of the NO- „to end the conflict and the construction of a stable and lasting peace,” includes measures aimed at guaranteeing the life, safety, integrity and work of social leaders, organizations and human rights defenders.
Achieving a stable and lasting peace demands the opening of spaces for dialogue where the peaceful transformation of conflicts is viable through the adoption of institutional and structural reforms, based on the respect and guarantee of human rights, for which we urge:

  • The national government to implement immediately point 3.4 of the Peace Agreement, which includes the creation of the National Commission on Security Guarantees and the Special Unit at the Attorney General Office. Moreover, to take concrete measures, clarify and dismantle paramilitary structures that, according to the information received, continue to operate in several regions of the country and are indicated by the victims as the alleged perpetrators of several threats, attacks and murders that occurred in recent days.
  • To the Ministry of the Interior, to announce the results and conclusions of the High Level Commission of Investigations created in March 2016, to address the increased murders of social leaders and human rights defenders.
  • To the Attorney General’s Office, to promptly advance in the investigations and to inform on the results that may bring to justice the material and intellectual authors of these crimes so they do not remain in impunity.

We express our gratitude to the international community for their commitment and support to the peace building process in Colombia, a commitment that has saved lives in the country so far, and we encourage you to continue. Moreover, we would like to emphasize the importance of urgently addressing a void in the UN Security Council Resolution 2261 and include a human rights verification component to be undertaken by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia (OHCHR).
We reiterate our urgent call to the Colombian Government and the ELN guerrillas to initiate immediately the public negotiation phase and thus eliminate, once and for all, the use of violence in carrying out politics in the country.
As International Civil Society Organizations, within the framework of our mandates, we reiterate our commitment to the peace building process, as well as to the support and protection of the civilian population.
Bogotá, Colombia December 2, 2016
For more information:
ESPACIO DE COOPERACIÓN PARA LA PAZ
Cooppaz2016(a)gmail.com

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