UN envoy: Colombia peace process at critical juncture


Carlos Ruiz Maceo, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, briefed the ambassadors on the latest developments under the agreement that ended five decades of fighting between the government and the FARC. .

He said the peace process was entering a “crucial juncture”.

A complex and noble task

“It is increasingly clear that the determination and work of all the actors involved in this complex and noble mission have been worthwhile despite the many ongoing challenges,” He said, speaks in Spanish.

Mr. Ruiz Maceo reported on recent steps in the area of ​​transitional justice.

In April, seven senior ex-combatants of the FARC-EP formally admitted responsibility for kidnappings committed during the conflict. Last week, 11 military officers and a civilian were indicted in connection with assassinations and enforced disappearances that were presented as combat deaths.

In addition, thousands of bodies of disappeared persons were found, in part, due to information provided by ex-guerrillas, ex-paramilitaries and state agents, while the Truth Commission served as a forum for dialogue between victims and those who harmed them.

“All these events, which until recently were unimaginable in Colombia, are now possible thanks to the peace agreement,” said Mr. Ruiz Maceo.

Protecting local leaders

Turning to English, the UN envoy stressed the need for joint initiatives by the state and civil society to protect social leaders and human rights defenders in communities affected by recurring violence.

He recently met with women leaders working on peacebuilding in the Montes de Maria region in the north of the country.

“I was particularly moved by their testimonies of how illegal armed actors attempt to silence their voices, and the voices of communities, not only by using physical violence but also by resorting to emotional violence, threats and personal attacks that prevent them and their families from fully exercising their rights and leading a normal and peaceful life.

Mr. Ruiz Maceo also expressed concern about violence and stigmatization against ex-combatants of the FARC-EP and members of the Commons political party, which was formed after the group’s demobilization.

“The persistence of violence and insecurity, highlights the urgent need to strengthen prevention and protection measures, as well as to take additional and more concrete steps to dismantle illegal organizations, bring perpetrators to justice, as well as expand state institutions, public services and development as quickly as possible for conflict-affected communities.”

With a new electoral cycle approaching, Mr. Ruiz Maceo encouraged all parties to remain committed to the peace agreement and to continue to prioritize dialogue to resolve their differences.

“It is precisely through this objective that the peace process has enabled the expansion of democratic spaces and guarantees of participation,” he said.

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