Washington, D.C., August 7, 2018.— Today, on the day of Colombia’s presidential inauguration ceremony, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), together with other international civil society organizations, sent an open letter to newly-inducted President Iván Duque urging him to “to continue and strengthen Colombia’s commitment to a just and lasting peace.”
The letter encourages the president and his incoming administration to fully and vigorously implement the peace accords between the Colombian government and the FARC, emphasizing the need to keep the victims of the conflict at the center, the proper reintegration of the demobilized former guerrillas, the fulfillment of the accord’s comprehensive rural reform and sustainable crop-substitution programs, and the rights of historically marginalized populations—including women, LGBTI persons, Afro-Colombians, and indigenous communities.
The organizations also exhort President Duque “to advance negotiations with the ELN,” and to protect the country’s human rights defenders and social leaders: “There has been an onslaught of violence against these leaders which must be addressed immediately. The conflict is not over if Colombia’s human rights defenders—including environmental activists, union members, and social leaders—cannot work and organize to protect their communities without putting their very lives at risk,” the letter states.
You can read the letter here.