WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
6 Aug 2015 | Commentary | News

65 Members of Congress Support Colombian Peace Process, Victims

Two new high-profile letters of support for the Colombian peace process showcase the deep commitment to peace in Colombia shared by a number of U.S. members of Congress

First, in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Special Envoy to Colombia Bernard Aronson, 65 members of Congress expressed support for the Colombian peace process and urged that it be made more inclusive, centered on the needs of victims, and most importantly that it contribute to ending impunityin the country. In the letter, the signatories expressed their concern over the increase in violence during May and June, explaining that “it is the Colombian people – and especially rural, indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities – who suffer the most from such continued acts of violence and sabotage.” Still, the members of Congress voiced encouragement for the recent decision of both negating teams to move forward with the peace talks and tackle thorny issues like transitional justice.  The letter also asked Secretary Kerry and Special Envoy Aronson to “convey to the negotiating parties our encouragement that these final agreements be inclusive, in particular to the views, needs and priorities of sectors of Colombian society that have been most affected by the conflict.”

To view the letter signed by 65 members of Congress, click here.

In a separate letter, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) wrote a statement of support to President Juan Manuel Santos, underscoring the milestones already achieved in the process which include a “landmine removal initiative, the decision to establish a truth commission and an agreement by the FARC to cease the recruitment of minors.” The letter concludes by reaffirming the CHC’s support for the peace process and for a long-lasting peace in Colombia.

To view the CHC letter, click here.

WOLA welcomes these letters and encourages the parties to continue making progress in the peace talks. WOLA additionally calls on the negotiating parties to continue working for a just end to the region’s longest-lasting conflict.