Diálogo Intereclesial por la Paz en Colombia (DiPaz), an ecumenical organistion working for dialogue for peace in Colombia, is calling on the international community to urge the Colombian government to resume the full implementation of the peace agreement and strengthen channels of dialogue to resolve societal issues in an open letter to the UN Security Council on July 13, 2021.
The letter was accompanied by a letter from ACT Alliance and the World Council of Churches (WCC) in solidarity with DiPaz, supporting the call for a sustainable peace in Colombia.
The letter expresses gratitude to UN General Secretary António Guterres, the Security Council, and the UN Verification Mission in Colombia for their support promotion of the peace process, and in appealing for continued and further action to continue to build a genuine and lasting peace for all the people of Colombia.
“Nevertheless, the current national administration’s omissions and slowness to act in relation to the implementation of many points of the agreement continue to worry us, as does the lack of progress in fulfilling other agreements with communities and sectors of civil society which, together with the increase of poverty during the pandemic, gave rise to the nationwide protests and strike action that began on April 28 of this year,” reads the letter.
The letter notes violence against young people protesting, as well as towards Indigenous people, as particular areas of concern: “During the recent protests we observed how state forces acted disproportionately against the young people who took to the streets to raise their voice… In addition, there was significant stigmatization of indigenous peoples, evidence of the persistence of racism in Colombia.”
DiPaz offers several recommendations, including the verification of all verdicts in the rulings to be issued by the Peace Tribunal of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), Monitoring the application of the differential and gender perspective of the Final Agreement to End the Conflict and Build a Stable and Lasting Peace, and the promotion and verification of the implementation of Security Council resolution 2532, calling for a global ceasefire in the face of COVID-19, “urging especially the Colombian government and all armed groups still active in Colombia to embrace such a ceasefire as an urgent ethical necessity for the advancement of the peace process and to enable the provision of humanitarian aid to rural communities ravaged by the violence and the virus.”
Read the full letter from DiPaz here.