November 29, 2021

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Peace in Colombia “is being built”, Guterres praises FARC

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Bogota (AFP) – Peace in Colombia is “being built” and it is a global example, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres praised when he arrived in Bogot this Monday.

Guterres delivered the message of “unity” to the Colombians on the fifth anniversary of the peace agreement that disarmed the FARC guerrillas, and was actively supported by the United Nations.

“In a world that unfortunately sees so many conflicts, it is very important to move to a country where peace is built,” he told the press.

The Portuguese diplomat will attend the commemoration of the agreement that ended more than half a century of conflict.

Despite the escalation of violence in some areas and the deaths of ex-combatants and human rights activists, Guterres urged Colombia to set a “global” example of the peace it is achieving.

The Secretary will make a two-day visit in which he will meet with conflict victims, government representatives and former FARC commanders.

Nearly 13,000 men and women abandoned the armed struggle and rejoined civilian life under UN supervision.

In all, about 7,000 were militants and they handed over their weapons to the organization’s spectators.

Guterres’ predecessor was with South Korean Ban Ki-moon with the agreement signed on November 24, 2016.

Guterres will travel to the Antioch region (northwest) with President Ivan Duc on Tuesday to visit one of the former guerrilla groups’ areas. There he will also meet former guerrilla commander Rodrigo Landono or “Timochenko”.

The secretary warned that the security situation of the ex-combatants would be “disrupted”. According to United Nations figures, at least 290 of them have been killed by armed ex-comrades or by former enemies during the conflict.

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“His visit is a message for the country to continue on the path of peace and reconciliation,” he told the UN in Colombia. Embassy head Carlos Ruiz Massie wrote on Twitter, checking the progress of the deal.

On Wednesday he will hold meetings with representatives of the special justice body that established the agreement to investigate the heinous crimes committed during the conflict.