OTTAWA, Sept. 20, 2019 /CNW/ - Over 40 non-governmental, labour and faith-based groups from across Canada denounce the escalating human rights crisis in Colombia, and urge the Canadian government to take strong action to support a continuation of the peace process in the South American country.
In 2016, a historic peace agreement put a formal end to 52 years or armed conflict between the Government of Colombia and the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC), only to be systematically undermined by the government of Iván Duque Márquez.
Colombian and Canadian civil society organizations express great concern over the growing wave of violence against social movements and human rights leaders as well as demobilized insurgents by paramilitary groups following the signing of the accord. With several former commanders and now dissidents of the demobilized FARC announcing their return to arms last month, the fate of this agreement is uncertain.
According to Raul Burbano of Common Frontiers, one of the organizations behind the statement, "President Duque's systematic undermining of the peace accord is highly problematic. His partisan-driven agenda has brought the executive and judicial branches of the Colombian state into open conflict. This not only strikes at the very foundations of democracy in Colombia but also undermines peace in Colombia and the region".
"As the world prepares to celebrate the International Day of Peace, it is urgent for the Canadian government to use all its political and economic channels to ensure the peace accord is effectively implemented by its Colombian counterpart. Canada has been a vocal supporter of the process and should live up to its commitment," said Guillaume Charbonneau of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund.
SOURCE 45 Canadian organizations concerned about the Colombian peace process