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12 de octubre | | |

For the continuity of the negotiations and peace building process in Colombia

CENSAT Agua Viva - Friends of the Earth Colombia

Following the outcome of the plebiscite of October 2nd, when a sector of the population opted for not validating the agreements between the FARC guerrilla and the Colombian government led by President Juan Manuel Santos, we want to say to the national and international community that:

We call the parties to avoid, under all circumstances, the end of the bilateral ceasefire agreed between the FARC and the Colombian government, because if the armed confrontation is resumed, this would mean a return to the cruel reality of war, which has resulted in the death of approximately 300,000 men and women in the conflict suffered by our country.

We consider that the rejection to validate the agreements by a close margin, through a plebiscite, is mostly a call to peace from different perspectives, and in no way a vindication of violence and the continuity of war; it is also a call for real participation of society in the resolution of the armed conflict. In the meantime:

  • We invite the different social sectors of Colombian society committed to life to protect the peace building process with the demands and claims from the people, as represented by their processes, organizations and movements. Supporting the construction of peace should manifest itself today more than ever through the social mobilization of all the living forces that build the country to dignify their daily lives and dreams. People cannot give in to manipulation attempts by opportunistic political actors that under personal and dominant-class interests mislead and manipulate the public opinion, and present themselves as representatives of civil society, promoting war and political violence in Colombia. The massive mobilizations for peace that took place on October 5th in over 14 cities are a clear indication of support to the defense of life and opposition to opportunistic actors that promote violence.
  • We demand the inclusion and effective binding participation of peoples -communities, organizations, processes and social movements- in the forthcoming continuation of negotiations with the FARC guerrilla, and in those that should proceed swiftly and publicly with the National Liberation Army -ELN. Those peoples who have lived the atrocities of war and have built, day by day, alternatives for peace, are the ones to be called to propose concrete ways out of the crossroads faced by the country, in spaces such as the Social Roundtable for Peace -MSP- and the Environmental and Mining and Energy Social Roundtable -MSMEA- , among others.
  • We reject the possibility of any potential pact between elites that bring the country back to scenarios such as the National Front, which fueled the spirit of war and subsumed rural people and some urban sectors into one of the most violent and bloody episodes in record. A historical violence that was supported by the same elites and fractions that have wanted to perpetuate the armed confrontation and which today refuse to let the peace processes advance.
  • We ratify our will and full support to the quest for truth and its construction, that could partially emerge from the ethic and truth commissions identified in the current process — that truth that is so feared by the sectors akin to war, which try to conceal it through fear and intimidation strategies imposed on the population, due to the benefits that war brings to them. We underscore our commitment to the construction of historical memory and environmental truth, as necessary conditions for reconciliation between human beings and with our territories. This construction process should put the people affected by violence in the center -a violence that has looted their livelihoods, but not their dignity to continue defending life.
  • We ask the international community for their permanent support to ensure that the country advances towards the construction of peace in the territories, with environmental and social justice, and for making sure that the silencing of gunfire allows for political dissent and dialogue as the foundations on which to build a just and sustainable Colombia, based on solidarity. We call on you to enshroud social movements so that they have guarantees for the free development of their actions and projects for the defense of life and territories.

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