"EPL commanders and combatants will continue to jointly recognize that peace is and remains a living aspiration of most Colombians. Consistent with this, we make our calls and claims, expressing responsibly that our vocation and struggle for change is unquestionable; in that sense, we state our willingness to discuss and find the possible ways to end of the war and achieve a true peace with social justice. [...]
The organization praised the fact that representatives of the National Government have contacted EPL envoys to open an eventual peace dialogue: "Our response, is to openly and publicly express to you that our willingness to dialogue has always been true ". Vanguardia.com
[...] “René, no matter where you are, I send you my kindest regards from the FARC congress, which is about to become a political party. We will wait for you to help us and maybe you could be in one of our candidate lists for the Senate or as President”, [FARC leader Ricardo] Téllez told Higuita. Téllez also highlighted that Higuita was not just a celebrity, but someone who would work for peace in Colombia. Colombia Focus
Demobilized fighters from Colombia's leftist FARC rebels want to form a professional league football club, officials said Friday. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have disarmed under a peace deal after a half-century conflict and are transitioning to civil and political life. "We received about 10 days ago an official message... from the FARC, who want to talk with the Colombian football authorities about taking part in the professional game," Jorge Perdomo, president of Colombian football's organizing body Dimayor said on Blu Radio. He said the FARC had asked if it could enter the men's second division and the women's leagues. Digital Journal
UNITED NATIONS -- The Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday authorizing a new U.N. political mission in Colombia to focus on reintegrating leftist rebels into society after more than 50 years of war -- a task the United Nations calls the most urgent challenge following the FARC rebels' handover of their last weapons.
A British-drafted resolution establishes the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia for an initial period of one year starting on Sept. 17, when the mandate of the current mission that has been monitoring the cease-fire and disarmament process ends. It asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to make detailed recommendations on the size, operational aspects, and mandate of the new mission within 45 days.
Latin America's longest-running conflict caused at least 250,000 deaths, left 60,000 people missing and displaced more than 7 million. After years of thorny negotiations, the rebels reached an agreement with the government last year to transition into a political party, but serious differences remain over the peace deal. [...] CBS News
"There is no doubt that reintegration of FARC fighters will be challenging as the #Colombian people have shown that they are not quick to forgive. [Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia, Jean] Arnault -- who has been given the task of reintegration -- told the security council that they would be focused on providing security to some of the fighters and to some areas to ensure a smooth process. The UN envoy will be working to unite the parties and bring confidence to many who are still reluctant". Blasting News
Colombia’s state has failed to comply with a peace deal signed with FARC guerrillas in November last year, the United Nations said in its harshest condemnation yet. While more than 7,000 FARC fighters have been certified for complying with their demobilization and disarmament, the government has failed to facilitate their successful reincorporation, UN mission chief Jean Arnault said Monday. A “deficiency” in government compliance has caused the desertion of FARC guerrillas who had complied with their commitment to demobilize and disarm, Arnault said. Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports
With FARC demobilized and disarmed, its members will continue into their reintegration process, which includes educational programs for the guerrillas, some of whom have spent decades living outside the law. To this end, demobilization camps are now called "training zones," where former guerrillas and villagers can participate in peace building and peace development projects. Guerrillas who provide security will have to surrender their latest weapons after security forces gain control over those areas. A joint UN, Government and FARC commission will continue to resolve potential conflicts or breaches of the peace agreement amid security concerns, but will no longer be the authority in the former demobilization camps.Mercado Militar
For three days starting July 20 theaters across Colombia will show a documentary film on the end of the conflict between Colombia and the guerrillas of FARC. El silencio de los fusiles (The silence of the guns) is the outcome of that project that the paisa journalist started four years ago with a question in her head: "Why did the same men and women who for so long made war and sent so many young people to their deaths in battle rose to fight what I believe is the most difficult and definitive battle for Colombia: that of peace." El Heraldo
It should also be noted that, among the universe of respondents, 9,929 are Colombians. The rest comes from Venezuela (54), Ecuador (16), Brazil (8), Chile (2), Argentina (1), Netherlands (1), Panama (1), Dominican Republic . Furthermore, 77% of the guerrillas who took part in the socio-economic census are men and 23% are women. Also, 66% is of rural origin; 19%, urban, and 15%, urban-rural.90% of the guerrilla members know how to read and write; 57% have primary basic education; 21%, secondary; 8%, vocational average, and the last 3%, higher education. Only 11% of the respondents do not have any education. Along the same lines, there is an alarming number: as of today 77% lack a home in which to live. These data are undoubtedly vital to take into consideration when prioritizing results producing reincorporation projects. El Espectador
Like many of the rebels, Ms. López is afraid of what might happen now that the former guerrillas must depend on the state for protection. She mentioned the last time the FARC experimented with political participation, running candidates for office under the Patriotic Union party banner, only to face massacres by right-wing paramilitary groups that the government failed to stop. Those groups still exist. “They could kill us one by one,” Ms. López said. [...] The New York Times