Labour Party Passes Unanimous Motion to Support JFC

Justice For Colombia News | on: Sunday, 7 October 2012

The UK Labour Party last week agreed to fully support Justice for Colombia’s Peace Campaign and calls for a bilateral ceasefire to enable peace talks to take place without fear and intimidation.

At its annual conference, the Labour Party welcomed the announcement by President Santos of the commencement of peace talks, called for the complete involvement of civil society, saying that it believed this to be imperative if peace with social justice is to be achieved.

The Labour Party also condemned the threats and arrests of leading members of ‘The Patriotic March’.

In a speech made to the Conference, The General Secretary of ASLEF, said

‘’This is a dangerous time for peace activists. The right wing paramilitaries and elements of the military oppose talks, and senior government officials have accused peace movement leaders as ‘terrorists’. This is a moment when we need to show our support’’.

He went on to explain to the Labour Party Leadership that

‘’On September 26th, ‘Colombians for Peace’ - the brave group of civil society leaders who are responsible for having created the conditions for these peace talks to be possible, sent an urgent letter to President Santos and FARC leader Timochenko, calling on them to consider a ceasefire whilst the talks take place. Colombians for Peace believe that if a ceasefire is not agreed, the talks will be easily derailed and civilians will continue to suffer the atrocities of war. ‘’

The Labour Party then agreed unanimously on all parties to the conflict to agree a ceasefire, called on the Colombian Government to stop the persecution of political opposition, human rights and peace campaigners and to guarantee the safety of Colombians for Peace and the Patriotic March and called for the involvement of civil society in the peace process.

Full text of the motion is below:

Conference is alarmed that at 2pm, September 22nd fighting broke out between the army and guerrillas in Eastern Colombia. The army encamped itself in the ‘Filipinas’ village placing the civilians in the line of fire and extreme danger. This highlights the urgent need for a bilateral ceasefire as peace talks begin next week.

Conference welcomes the announcement by President Santos of the commencement of those peace talks, recognises the extremely brave work of Colombians for Peace in the face of constant death threats and assassination attempts and condemns those in the Colombian administration who endanger leading members of the peace movement by making false accusations against them.

Conference condemns the threats and arrests of leading members of the new movement, ‘The Patriotic March’ a grouping of trade unions, peasants and indigenous people.

Conference believes that civil society’s involvement in the peace process is imperative if peace with social justice is to be achieved and supports their calls for a bilateral ceasefire during talks.

Conference:

- Calls on the parties to the conflict to agree to a ceasefire.

- Calls for the involvement of civil society in the peace process.

- Calls on the Colombian Government to stop the persecution of political opposition, human rights and peace campaigners and to guarantee the safety of Colombians for Peace and the Patriotic March.

- Supports the work of the leading campaign group ‘Justice for Colombia’ to raise international support for the peace process.



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