AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Tomorrow the final Peace agreement will be signed, President Santos asks to stop the killings of peasant leaders

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 politics   paramilitary groups   violence  

Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - In a joint statement, the negotiating teams of the government and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) confirmed yesterday that the new peace agreement will be signed at the Teatro Colon in the center of Bogota, at 11 am on Thursday 24 November. According to the statement, sent to Fides, the final text will be submitted to the Colombian Congress. The brief statement stresses that "for peace to be reached we must act for the implementation of the agreements in order to overcome years of conflict in Colombia".
The decision of the signing of the "new agreement" was reached on November 12, after the talks of government representatives and FARC with the groups that had expressed themselves in favor of the no in the referendum on 2 October (see Fides 03/10/2016 ) on the previous agreement.
Yesterday evening during a press conference, President Santos, after the meeting of the Commission for the Protection of Human Rights, said that the killings of peasant leaders in recent days show "uncertainty regarding the acceleration of the agreement". In the same press conference, the head of the analysis of conflicts Resource Center (Cerac) explained that "if the agreement had been signed, the monitoring and verification mission, or police units to bring peace and security would have already been active".
According to the Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, this year alone, 232 farmers and rural leaders have been threatened; 21 were attacked and 70 were killed.
At the end of the press conference, President Santos reiterated that this series of murders must be stopped right away, and therefore asked to "urgently intensify" the protection of community leaders and human rights defenders. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 23/11/2016)