Peace Initiative Moves Forward with Call to End Kidnapping
News from Colombia |
on: Friday, 28 November 2008
An exchange of correspondence between Colombian civil society and leaders of the FARC guerrilla group has continued with 'Colombians for Peace', the coalition of civil society leaders led by Liberal Party Senator Piedad Cordoba that is trying to foster peace talks, calling on the guerrillas to end their practice of kidnapping. The call is made in an open letter signed by the civil society representatives which has been sent to the FARC in response to a letter sent by FARC leaders earlier this month in which they express a willingness to discuss solutions to the country's conflict.
In their reply to the FARC's letter, which itself was in response to one sent by 'Colombians for Peace', the civil society representatives – including members of Congress, former diplomats, academics, union leaders, religious figures, trade human rights activists, indigenous leaders, and former FARC hostages – say that kidnapping is 'inherently inhumane' and call on the guerrillas to end the practice. They also reiterate their willingness to help facilitate dialogue in order to kick-start a peace process.
Over 25,000 Colombians added their support to the letter after Senator Cordoba posted a draft on the 'Colombians for Peace' website and the campaign was given an added boost yesterday when Colombian rock star Juanes added his support.
"I think that dialogue is the solution" the star told reporters before saying that he believed that the FARC and government need to sit down and begin negotiations to bring the war to an end.