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McGovern Condemns News That Some FARC Dissidents Will Return to Arms

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Washington, August 29, 2019 | comments

WORCESTER, MASS. – Today, Congressman James P. McGovern, Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and a leading congressional advocate for peace in Colombia, issued this statement strongly condemning news that some former FARC dissidents would abandon the Colombian peace process and return to arms:

“Peace is the only path forward for Colombia. I am deeply disappointed that some misguided FARC dissident leaders have decided to return to arms. Their decision will only cause more death and destruction in a country that has suffered the consequences of war for more than five decades.

“But let me be clear: I am equally disappointed and angry that the government of President Iván Duque has not only failed to implement the historic 2016 peace accord, but has actively sought to undermine it. This will negatively affect not just Colombia, but the stability of our entire hemisphere. The people of Colombia deserve better.

“I stand with all those in Colombia who today renew their demand for peace. I call on President Duque to change course and implement the commitments laid out in the accord and make peace a reality for all Colombians, including the reported 90% of ex-guerrillas who have kept their word and are doing their part to build peace. I also call upon the U.S. government to recommit itself to supporting the peace accord and rejecting military solutions.

“The 2016 accord must be fully implemented immediately, and Colombia must continue to build on what has been achieved so far. I encourage all those who believe in the right to peace to rally their forces and continue their work. More war is not the answer.”

On May 24th, 79 Members of Congress sent a letter expressing their grave concern over escalating violence against human rights defenders and social leaders, as well as the Duque government’s efforts to undermine key elements of the peace accord and its failure to implement critical chapters of the accord.

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