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Colombia: Peace Mail - 19-25 November 2019

Source: International Organization for Migration, US Agency for International Development Country: Colombia
The reasons for the marches are different from the ones of 2016 says ex-President Santos: November 24th was the third anniversary of the signing of the peace agreement in Colombia. This date arrived in the middle of a national strike that started three days earlier. Former President Santos recognized that thanks to the peace agreement, Colombians were now protesting for more opportunities and a better future, instead of protesting against kidnapping and landmines. The FARC political party also expressed itself on the occasion, reaffirming its commitment to peace and life, and dreaming of a country reconciled and at peace. Since last week, Colombians have taken to the streets to protest for various reasons: one of them, is to demand that the government comply with the implementation of the agreement. Multiple political figures like De La Calle invited people to march for and in peace. Former guerrilla combatants recognize responsibility for kidnappings: Last week, in Santander, 40 former combatants from the Magdalena Medio block of the FARC, appeared before the JEP. The former FARC members recognized their responsibility in nine cases, made contributions to the truth, and reaffirmed their commitment to clarifying the events. The Chamber of Truth Recognition and Responsibility of the JEP has been expanding the preliminary hearings that must provide full and exhaustive truth about the facts that occurred as part of case 01 committed by the guerrilla organization. The Chamber ordered six additional extensions that will be carried out under a territorial scheme, which means that these hearings will be organized according to the former guerilla’s structures and in the former ETCRs. In Caquetá, Former FARC members celebrate the anniversary of the Peace Accord: In the reincorporation space of Agua Bonita (Caquetá) former combatants, locals, politicians, and social organizations gathered on this anniversary. For the occasion, they organized several activities: a soccer championship between ex-combatants and police, a product fair of goods made in reincorporation areas, and dance shows. At night they showed their support for the national strike by joining the cacerolazo. However, the most significant event was the act of reconciliation and forgiveness with residents of the village El Triunfo, a township that was destroyed by the FARC during the conflict. A discussion about the gains and benefits of the peace process, but also about the setbacks and transgressions of the agreement, took place. There was a particular concern for the legal status of the reincorporation areas and the legal ownership of ex-combatants’ lands.

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