Unilateral cease-fire for an indefinite period: FARC-EP
“President Santos must respect fallen guerrilla fighters”
Havana, Cuba – The FARC-EP, through a press release read at 3 pm, declared a cease of fire and hostilities for an indefinite period, which should, at some moment, change into an armistice.
Comandante Iván Márquez specified that the ceasefire would be ended “only if it is found that our guerrilla structures have been attacked by the public force“. The insurgency asked UNASUR, CELAC, the ICRC and the Frente Amplio por la Paz to monitor compliance with the ceasefire.
The ceasefire, “expressing the desire to overcome the useless episodes of blood“, would take effect at 00:01 pm on December 20, given the support of at least one of the mentioned bodies.
The guerrilla Comandante also spoke of the last hearing held yesterday with the delegation of victims of the conflict, and of the need to take account of all victims, including those of the crematorium ovens, massacres and chainsaws; those resting in the tomb N.N.; the bodies that floated downriver to disappear forever.
The FARC-EP, said the statement, considers that the coming months are essential for peace and reconciliation in Colombia; it is a scenario of now or never.
Likewise, the Peace Delegation called on President Santos to stop expressing his happiness on his twitter account because of the death of guerrilla fighters. Respect for the fallen is a universal principle of humanity that must always be observed, according to the insurgency.
Report from Havana – The first meeting with women organizations from Colombia
Havana, Cuba – At 9 o’clock this morning started the first meeting of the gender sub-committee of the FARC-EP and the National Government, and six representatives of women organizations from Colombia.
The purpose of the meeting was to produce input for the gender sub-committee that is currently studying the already-made three partial agreements to assure there is an appropriate gender perspective in them, as well as in the agreements to be made in the future.
The representatives present at this meeting were:
1. Olga Amparo Sánchez, from the Casa de la Mujer
2. Ana Elsa Rojas, from ASODEMUC
3. Marina Gallego, from Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres
4. Angela Cerón, from Red Nacional de Mujeres
5. Claudia Mejía, from Alianza Iniciativas de Mujeres Colombianas por la Paz
6. Patricia Ariza, from Women Art and Part of Peace in Colombia
They had each 15 minutes to make suggestions and proposals, during a meeting that lasted three hours. The meeting was presided by Victoria Sandino Palmera, representative of the FARC-EP, and María Paulina Ceballos, representative of the government.
Humberto de la Calle, head of the government delegation, spoke some words, and Iván Márquez, head of the delegation of the insurgency, read a document, underlining the historic importance of the gender sub-committee and introducing a gender perspective in the agreements. Present were the plenipotentiaries of FARC-EP and Government and the female representation of both delegations.
Afterwards, the representatives held a press conference, in which they explained several proposals they all have in common, like the request for a bilateral ceasefire for Christmas, the request for the two parties to not leave the Table until an agreement has been made, a recognition of the diversity of the identities of black women, indigenous women, peasants, rural, urban, young women and the LGTBI community, promote equal participation of women with measures of alternation and universality during all the stages and in all the mechanisms of the process, among other proposals
Fifth and last meeting with victims of the conflict
Today, on the 16th of December, the last meeting between a delegation of 12 victims of the conflict and the two parties at peace talks, the government and the FARC-EP, took place.
The meeting started at 9:00 in the morning; every victim entered the room carrying a yellow or white flower, and a paper with a word written on it: reconciliation, tolerance, hope, etc. They spread the papers over a map of Colombia and handed the flowers over to the members of the two delegations.
The Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP read a document to welcome this last delegation of victims, by voice of Comandante Iván Márquez, emphasizing that
“It lacks logic, it is less credible, to say that the FARC-EP are calling for a ceasefire to strengthen itself and seek military advantage. This idea is absolutely contradictory with the practical attitude that we have shown in putting all our efforts in finding solutions and agreements”.
After that, each member of the Peace Delegation handed over 12 little statutes to each victim, representing a hand holding a white rose. The victims had fifteen minutes each to tell their stories, make proposals, suggestions and remarks.
After the meeting, which lasted several hours, all the assistants went outside to plant the tree of hope for peace and reconciliation in Colombia, accompanied by some words spoken by ex senator Piedad Córdoba and Mauricio Armitage.
After lunch, there was a press conference held by the delegation of victims, during which they read a press release, underlining the need for a bilateral ceasefire, at least for this Christmas period, the need for a pedagogy of peace, as well as a call on Colombian companies and businessmen to act ethically and with social responsibility in order to dignify the workers of Colombia.