Search

 

Cablegate: Guarded Optimism at First Year Anniversary Of

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS BOGOTA 012945

SIPDIS

TAGS: PTER PINR PHUM KJUS CO OAS AUC
SUBJECT: Guarded Optimism at First Year Anniversary of
BCN Demobilization

REF: BOGOTA 12188

--------------------------------------------- -----------
"It's Working"-First Year Anniversary of BCN
Demobilization
--------------------------------------------- -----------

1. Just hours after the November 25 demobilization of
AUC's Bananero Bloc combatants in Turbo, Antioquia
Department (reftel), the first anniversary of the
demobilization of the Cacique Nutibara Bloc (BCN) was
celebrated in the department capital of Medellin. With
banners emblazoned with the slogan "After a Year - it's
Working", the cavernous Medellin convention hall filled
with an audience of over 1000, including former BCN
combatants and their families, public officials, civil
society leaders, and representatives of foreign missions.

2. In a keynote speech, former BCN commander Diego
Murrillo, one of the AUC's principal negotiators in talks
with the GOC, described the difficult road traveled in
the ongoing peace process. He told the crowd that former
and current AUC combatants can "see a light of hope at
the end of the tunnel that will bring us to join our
families, reconcile with society, and search for
political space.... From a position of legality [we will]
contribute to the building of roads towards often
mentioned but never well understood social justice."

3. Murillo accused critics of the peace process of
refusing to accept the mechanisms of pardon and
reconciliation. He was critical of their purported "wish
to apply humanitarian fundamentalism," characterizing
them as "trapped in offices in Europe.." He said they
"fail to understand, not even with a glance, the dramatic
realities of Colombia. A process of peace that does 'not
have as a fundamental direction pardon and reconciliation
is' not viable." Departing from his written remarks, he
asked the GOC to be generous in its handling of the
movement's leaders' legal status.

4. In his public remarks, Mayor of Medellin Sergio
Fajardo admitted that a year earlier he had serious
doubts about prospects for success of the AUC
demobilization process. However, as a close observer of
the process over the past year, he had become a believer.
Linking the demobilization to reduced levels of violence,
he noted that murders in the city had fallen by over 60%
from the previous year. Yet he reminded the gathering
that the problems of Medellin and Antioquia will not be
solved only by demobilizing former combatants, but by
dealing successfully with other forms of violence and
offering Medellin's youth educational and employment
opportunities that discourage them from joining criminal
gangs or engaging in other types of crime.

5. The mood after the ceremony was genuinely positive,
almost festive. Embassy officials spoke with several
demobilized fighters, all of whom said they were happy to
have returned to their families and reintegrated into
society and "legality." Although they recognized that the
road ahead is not easy, they emphasized that it is
nevertheless better than the one left behind.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Climate: UN Chief Lauds ‘day Of Hope’ As US Officially Rejoins Paris Climate Accord

The official return of the United States to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change represents good news for the country and the world, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday during a virtual event to mark the occasion. The US, under ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>