AMERICA/COLOMBIA - The Christmas truce has ended, the Church asks to stop the violence and continue the dialogue

Monday, 21 January 2013

Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - Yesterday, Sunday, January 20, the ceasefire declared at Christmas 2012 between the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the government of Juan Manuel Santos came to an end. The Secretary of the Episcopal Conference, His Exc. Mgr. José Daniel Falla, asked the FARC leaders taking part in the dialogue with the Colombian government in Cuba, to continue the truce.
According to the note sent to Fides Agency by Radio Caracol, Colombia, Mgr. Falla said: "Those who they claim to defend, namely civilians, are ultimately the ones who suffer. There is a contradiction in the way they act. Now that they are sitting at the negotiating table and have good intentions, they must express the arguments they have, and not act with force." From the same source we learn that the Catholic Church is willing to respond to President Santos’ call so that priests and Bishops contribute to the negotiation process with the FARC.
In November last year (see Fides 20/11/2012) a unilateral ceasefire for Christmas, from midnight Tuesday, 20 November 2012 to 20 January 2013 was announced by the FARC. The statement stressed "the cessation of all kinds of offensive military operations against the security forces, and acts of sabotage against public or private facilities." Unfortunately, this truce, however, was not observed. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 21/01/2013)