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26 international delegates from over ten countries are travelling through five Colombian departments and meeting former fighters, rural communities, legislative authorities, governments and international bodies to monitor the slow process of implementation of the Peace Agreements in this country.
On November 21st, the delegation offered a press conference to Colombian and international social communication media. Delegates from Norway, El Salvador, Brazil, Nicaragua, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Panama, Paraguay, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Venezuela, France, Costa Rica, Spain and Switzerland are part of this Mission, the second to be organized by the global peasant organization Vía Campesina, an official guarantor of the agreements signed a year ago.
After negotiations between Juan Manuel Santos administration and the insurgent Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc-EP) in Oslo and Havanna, the Peace Agreements were ratified in November 2016 in Bogota, both by the Executive branch and Congress.
The fulfilment of said agreements, that includes the surrender of arms and the creation of stabilization territories for former guerrilla members, is followed by different organizations, among them La Vía Campesina International, that is carrying out its second verification mission.
In the press conference, the delegates said that the goals include the first point of the Agreements, related to lands, crop substitution and food sovereignty.
For instance, Federico Pacheco made reference to the commitment of La Vía Campesina with the success of the Peace Agreements, particularly around land as a key issue in the origins of the armed conflict in Colombia. "A stable and long-lasting peace in Colombia is reached by addressing the causes that gave origin to the conflict, developing peasant and family economy".
As a result of this mission, there will be a report to be distributed among different international organizations linked to the peace process. "We see hope in this process for the recognition of the rights of rural people and peasants around the globe", said Pacheco.
The Mission will take place through November 27 and will visit Cauca, Meta, Caquetá and Arauca departments in groups, arriving to Tumaco on November 25th with all the delegates.
Meanwhile, Deolinda Carrizo, member of the Secretariat of the Latin American Coordination of Countryside Organizations (CLOC-VC) said that the follow-up of agreements and their implementation has been the object of discussions and work in different regional and international spaces of the peasant organization. La Vía Campesina is also extremely concerned about the wave of murders against leaders who are struggling in the territories to raise awareness on the conflicts and the implementation of agreements, said Carrizo.
And she highlighted that together with institutional assessments, they will aim to gather the testimonies of former fighters and indigenous, afrodescendant and peasant communities to contribute with the report that will be circulated at international level.
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