Big leaps towards lasting peace in Colombia on various fronts. Authorities make progress with the Clan del Golfo, a draft law that constitutionally prohibits paramilitarism is approved, the ELN declared a historic ceasefire and the FARC held their first congress as a political party. Veronika Hoelker, Bogota Post.
It fits the good news that the FARC has declared that it will form a new political party, seemingly completing the transition from violent guerrilla to legal political actor. The question now is whether the Colombian government can fulfil the guarantees it has given the FARC in exchange for disarmament. [...] Colombia’s government and the FARC have tried to make peace before – and various of their efforts have ended in violent tragedy. The peace process in the 1980s was particularly traumatic – so traumatic that courts in Colombia declared that a “political genocide” had been committed against the FARC’s last formally organised party, Unión Patriotica (UP). The Conversation.
Over 4,000 FARC members will train in solidarity economy, confirmed the Minister of Labor, Griselda Janeth Restrepo Gallego, in a conversation with Caracol's Radio Diálogo 6AM Hoy por Hoy. He said that a total of 110 officials from the Unidad de Organizaciones Solidarias will go to the Territorial Spaces for Training and Reincorporation to provide training in solidarity economics to FARC members. Caracol Radio
"The peace agreement includes 122 measures to recognize the differential impact of women in Colombia's armed conflict and 19 to recognize the LGBTI population. [...] Today, the mentions of gender and LGBTI communities in the agreements have increased quantitatively. However, because of the manipulation of some sectors, many congressmen are afraid to put the word gender in the agreements fearing they may create some problems with some people. LBGTI activist Marcela Sánchez as interviewed by Pacifista!.
In the transitional demobilization area of La Elvira, in the Western mountain range near the place where [FARC commander] Alfonso Cano fell, former FARC guerrillas [...] received their degrees as peace builders. Present were Tania, the Dutch guerrilla fighter; Boris, personal security of Alfonso Cano; Anderley Sánchez and Astrid Motoa, with Lucas Carvajal, in charge of the educational activities of the FARC Western Block. One by one they received their diploma. Las2Orillas
BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia’s largest guerrilla movement sowed a half-century of fear through kidnappings, bombings, extortion and killings. But in a new era of peace, the battled-scarred leftists are launching a charm offensive — trading their guns and fatigues for the soft-lit ads and sport coats of 21st-century politics. Anthony Faiola, The Washington Post
Last week, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos placed the final padlock on a shipment of weapons formerly belonging to the insurgent organization FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). Santos called the arms turnover the “last breath” of the 52-year-old internecine conflict. FARC has agreed to disband as a military force and reestablish itself as a legitimate political party. [...] Violence has declined rather significantly throughout Colombia, despite the desire by some groups to carry on their resistance. These smaller rebel groups will likely continue to wreak havoc in some areas. But with their smaller numbers, it is unlikely they will become a potent force to rival FARC. William Tucker, In Homeland Security
#VocesDeLaReconciliación is a space where you can listen the voices of those engaged in the constant search for a reconciled nation in peace. Sponsored by the Centro de Memoria Paz y Reconciliación. Webcast every Thursday at 5:30PM. CentroMemoria.
"What will happen to over 7,000 FARC weapons? They will be destroyed. Part of the metal obtained will be used to build three monuments -- in Colombia, Cuba and New York -- while a significant amount will be donated to the Humanium-Metal project, promoted by the Swedish Development Partner, which plans to make an official announcement. The final goal is to turn weapons into symbolic objects of various kinds which will be sold as a means to commemorate Colombia's Peace and Reconciliation." El País