Bogotá June 22, 2016
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:27, NRSV)
The Interchurch Dialog for Peace is filled with joy and hope for the significant and historical Joint Statement #75 on the Bilateral Ceasefire and Final Cessation of Hostilities; the laying down of weapons, the security guarantees and the fight against criminal organizations responsible for homicides and massacres or the attempted assassinations of human rights defenders, social movements or political movements, including the criminal organizations that have been named as paramilitary successor groups and their support networks, and the persecution of criminal activities that threaten the implementation of the peace accords and peacebuilding in Colombia.
We celebrate and affirm with hope that the path towards peace continues with this announcement. It is an act of great significance for Colombia and the world. This is the end of the confrontation between the Colombian state and the FARC-EP guerrillas that has lasted for over 50 years. For the churches and religious organizations that make up DiPaz, it represents a sign of the times and good news. This agreement is an important moment of nonviolent action in Colombia that means not only the silencing of weapons and the protection of civilians, but also for respecting differences and dialog as a means for achieving political agreement and for creating healthy environments and environmental justice across Colombia.
In addition, we believe that this announcement challenges the continued armed confrontation with the National Liberation Army (ELN guerrilla) and the continued presence of paramilitary groups in different regions of Colombia. Therefore, we call on the Colombian government and the ELN to begin the first phase of their talks and for organizations and society in general to ensure the dismantling paramilitary successor criminal organizations.
There have been many Colombian homes whose children have made up the ranks of the guerillas and the Colombian military. For that reason, the announcement calls us to contribute even more in the verification of the agreements in the various regions of Colombia and to raise awareness about the need to respect the political rights of the FARC-EP as we move forward in the pilgrimage towards truth, justice, peace, and reconciliation.
As DiPaz we encourage you to participate in liturgical celebrations of thanks tomorrow, June 23 in different parts of the country to promote of truth, justice, peace, and the path of reconciliation, as well as in public gatherings that will take place in other cities as well.
Interchurch Dialog for Peace, DiPaz
#ElUltimoDiaDeLaGuerra – #LaPazSeaContigo