A rare and instructive example for all has taken place in recent days before the eyes of the world. A definitive ceasefire and end to bilateral hostilities was signed between the Colombian state, from the hand of the President, and FARC’s guerrilla fighters. More than fifty years of war seem to have come to an end. And thus one of the bloodiest armed conflicts in Latin American history, leaving more than 300,000 people dead, 4,700,000 displaced and 25,000 missing.
In a world inclined to regard violence and armed confrontation as a way to solve conflict, the peace process underway in Colombia between the government and the FARC is an enormous reason to celebrate and to have hope. The peace process gives hope for the people and the victims of this “dirty” war, full of ambushes and paramilitaries, and its terrible aftermath of pain, suffering, misery, barbarism, abductions, refugees, displaced, martyrs and torture. The peace process also gives hope to all people who are living in the hell of armed conflagration and the madness of the annihilation of the other as a supposed form of conflict resolution.
Based on the Greens’ deep conviction that non-violence, dialogue and negotiation are the best way to resolve conflicts, as proclaimed in the Global Greens’ Charter, we want to send with this statement our warmest greetings to all those who made possible Colombia’s peace process and who have helped it to reach the Definitive Ceasefire formally adopted in Havana, Cuba, on 23 June 2016.
We know that reconciliation will be difficult. We know that it will not be simple to replace a culture of hatred with a culture of peace. Launching these negotiations and accepting their outcomes is particularly remarkable when you consider that it may also mean that some who are guilty of crimes may not be punished to the full extent desired by victims’ relatives. With this gesture of forgiveness, the moral stature and dignity of the Colombian people can only emerge stronger, and with them the whole of humanity shall be elevated as well. The path of reconciliation and the restoration of coexistence will be long and hard, but always better than annihilation, mutual destruction and capitulation. This is especially important when the fifty year history shows that the perpetuation of the conflict would only lead to more bloodshed, suffering and loss of life. The world community should strive to make this peace process irreversible.
With this decision to seek peace through negotiation, the Colombian people are inscribed in the history of peaceful conflict resolution; on the same path as walked by Gandhi, by the Irish people and by Nelson Mandela of South Africa, among many others. Your example can be an inspiring experience for all people of this world.
Therefore, the Global Greens call on the governments of all countries to:
1. Help Colombian civil society organisations play an active and constructive role in the peace process;
2. Closely monitor the negotiations to positively support the efforts of the Green Party in Colombia (Partido Alianza Verde), a member of the Global Greens, in its efforts to consolidate peace;
3. Strive for the United Nations to assume its role as guarantors of the negotiations, and that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia has the full means to act effectively and comprehensively in its role at this juncture; and
4. That all insurgent groups join the peace process to seize this historic opportunity for Colombia and for the world.
Colombians will be asked to vote in a plebiscite in October to approve the peace deal. The plebiscite will be a simple yes/no vote to end 50 years of war. Alianza Verde is urging Colombians, whether they live in Colombia or abroad to vote to vote massively SI A LA PAZ in the plebiscite.