The situation in Colombia remains disturbing amid a growing wave of violence and intimidation throughout the country, and countless murders of social leaders.
Abuse and the use of force are proving to be a structural problem. The tremendous escalation of violence in the country is largely due to a government that allows paramilitary groups – responsible for hundreds of murders of social, farming, and trade union leaders – to exist. The government is also disregarding one of the great milestones of the Peace Agreement, the Special Investigation Unit for the dismantling of paramilitary successor groups, unfortunately it has made little progress.
Recently, the Institute for Peace and Development Studies estimated that there were 60 massacres in 2020 (244 murders), a dramatic increase on the 11 in 2017 when the Peace Agreement was signed. Moreover, the criminalisation and repression of protest continues, as we have seen at recent demonstrations. The situation is getting worse every day.
In this context, the Movement to Defend Peace is virtually convening an International Conference for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on September 26th. This coincides with the fourth anniversary of the signing of the Agreements. The lack of guarantees for the signatories of the Agreement will be discussed, as well as the wave of assassinations, threats and displacements, the state of reincorporation and implementation, and of course the need to comply with the agreements.
The conference will count with the presence of former President Santos, the United Nations Verification Mission, the guarantor countries and the signatories of the agreement, social leaders as well as representatives from different governments, trade unions, the world of art and culture, and victims’ organizations.
The GUE/NGL group calls on the international community to follow this conference closely and to monitor the Colombian conflict, showing solidarity and support for the Peace Process in the country. We urge the fulfilment of the signed agreements, the rejection of violence against social leaders and demand that the safety of the signatories of the agreement be guaranteed, for the real construction of a stable and lasting peace.