Increase support for peace process in Colombia

Caritas Internationalis’ Colombia Working Group asks the European Union to maintain and strengthen its support for the Colombian peace process.

The EU has a key role to play to ensure the end of a conflict that has ravaged Colombia for almost 50 years, and from which too many are still suffering.

Monsignor Hector Fabio Henao, director of Caritas Colombia and a member of the Caritas Colombia Working Group, met last week with representatives of the European Union to discuss the role of the international community in the peace process.

Increase support for peace process in Colombia

A typical street scene from Soacha, a sprawling urban slum outside Colombia’s capital, Bogota. Trocaire (Caritas in Ireland) is working with communities to protect their human rights and improve their living conditions. Photo by Simon Burch/Caritas.

Msgr. Henao said, “Ensuring peace in Colombia will be the work of everyone requires commitment from the international community, political will from the state and those involved in the war and a decisive contribution from civil society.”

The Caritas working group also calls on the European Union to ensure that civil society is guaranteed access to the Trust Fund, which will be established to help implement a peace agreement in Colombia. And to ensure that citizens are able to monitor spending and the effective and transparent use of the funds.

The Colombian Catholic Church and civil society play a key role in supporting peace in Colombia and in ensuring the participation of local communities and victims in the peace talks.

“Even if a peace agreement is signed in Havana, peace will not be achieved in Colombia unless civil society is part of this process and has the space and security to engage, victims are recognised, land is restored, and human rights defenders are protected,” said Msgr Henao.

The European Union must ensure truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition for the victims of the Colombian conflict.

For more information, please contact:

In Colombia Monsignor Héctor Fabio Henao director of Caritas Colombia Tel: +571 437 7150 henao1@yahoo.com

In Rome Patrick Nicholson Communication director Caritas Internationalis Tel: +39 (0)6 698 79 725 Mob: +39 334 359 0700 nicholson@caritas.va

In Brussels Alain Rodriguez Communication officer Caritas Europa Tel: +32 (0)2 235 26 54 Mob: +32 (0)478 58 54 37 arodriguez@caritas.eu

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