La Via Campesina: “The Colombian People Cannot Be Denied the Right to Peace”

La Via Campesina
Harare, March 25th, 2019

Via Campesina International is conducting its Third Solidarity Mission to Colombia in a new political context, with the recent election of President Iván Duque and the ongoing debate on the Statutory Law that provides the legal framework for the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.

Among the Third Mission’s goals is that of denouncing the alarming incidence, within the context of the peace process, of the targeted killings of women and men peasant leaders, as well as of the criminalization faced by peasant leaders. According to the United Nations report, during 2018 in Colombia, there was an increase of 164% in the number of such killings.

In addition, the Mission is seeking to identify critical factors for the implementation of the points in the Peace Accord, which was signed two years ago by the Colombian government and the FARC. As part of the international guarantor component, Via Campesina has been participating in following up the implementation of Point 1 of the Accord, related to Integral Agrarian Reform.

From March 29th to April 2nd, seventeen Via Campesina delegates from Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa will take part in meetings with members of the Colombian Congress and in meetings with social organizations and movements. The delegates will also carry out visits to different parts of the country, and their Mission will conclude with a unified event in the center of Colombia, near Bogotá.

During the visits, the LVC delegation will gain a firsthand acquaintance with the main problems faced by peasants who are engaged in building peace: the interests of transnational corporations; security and the presence of other armed groups (paramilitaries, other guerrilla movements, and criminal organizations). They will also learn about alternatives that are already being developed at the local level: productive projects; educational and social reintegration projects.

Upon completion of its Mission, Via Campesina will make an assessment, indicating the precautions that should be taken in order for the peace process to advance in a democratic and participatory manner. Via Campesina believes that guaranteeing human rights is essential. In order to attain a lasting peace based on social justice, we must eradicate this phenomenon of unending and unpunished killings. We cannot deprive the Colombian people of their right to peace!

Press Contacts:
Nury Martínez (+57 3107720098) – Fensuagro – Poticial Coordinator of Vía Campesina South America.
Andrey Hernandez (+57 3176358066) – Communication Cloc – Vía Campesina South America.