The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) condemn the attack by FARC guerrillas in Cauca which killed 11 soldiers. We echo the words of President Juan Manuel Santos, who as he declared his sorrow at the soldiers’ death, also emphasized, “this, precisely, is the war we want to end.” We urge the FARC to adhere strictly to the unilateral ceasefire it had declared, and express our hope that in the near future a bilateral ceasefire can be agreed to and respected.
Preliminary reports from the ground indicate that the resumption of combat operations is leading to loss of life and a humanitarian crisis for Afro-Colombian, indigenous and other communities in this region. As such, we strongly encourage both sides to strictly adhere to international humanitarian law and to refrain from indiscriminate attacks that could jeopardize the lives of civilians.
We encourage the negotiating parties to continue their work at the negotiating table with a renewed commitment to achieving a just and lasting peace for all Colombians.