Sinn Fein MP urges Colombian government to address threats to peace process

Sinn Féin MP Mickey Brady has said the Colombian government needs to deal with the critical threat to the peace agreement in the region.

The Newry/Armagh MP was speaking after attending the ‘Tipperary Peace Convention’ where the ‘Tipperary International Peace Award’ was presented to former Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón.

Mickey Brady MP said:

“Sinn Féin and others in Ireland and the wider international community, worked and supported the Colombian peace agreement reached in 2016 between the Colombian Government and the FARC.

“Since then serious issues have arisen concerning the implementation of the agreement and in particular the security of the opposition.

 “Over 400 people, political, community and human rights activists including 80 members of the FARC, have been killed by right wing paramilitaries. It appears those responsible act with impunity with reports stating that no-one has been arrested, charged or convicted with any of these horrendous killings. The Colombian government appears to be turning a blind eye to these murderous activities.

“There is a responsibility on the international community to ensure these killings are exposed, condemned and halted and those responsible are brought to justice.

“In our experience of the Irish Peace process confidence building measures are essential to maintaining momentum to sustain and build the peace. Part of this is the release of political prisoners not the continued detention or arrest of those central to the agreement.

“The lack of progress, and the continued poor treatment of political prisoners, can cause serious problems to the process itself.

“The Colombian government needs to deal with the critical threat to the peace agreement. They need to adhere to their obligations. Agreements reached need to be implemented and the security of all Colombian citizens, in particular those opposed to the government, needs to be guaranteed.”