PBI-Colombia signs statement in support of United Nations call for a ceasefire

Published by Brent Patterson on

On April 3, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project tweeted, “@PBIColombia with organizations from the @espaciopazencol [the Cooperation Space for Peace] has signed a statement supporting the call from @ONUHumanRights [UN Human Rights Colombia] for a ceasefire in Colombia and calling attention to the continued assassinations of and threats towards human rights defenders during the #Covid_19 pandemic.”

On March 23, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called “for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. …Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes.”

Then on March 28, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Colombia Ruiz Massieu stated, “Today I extend to Colombia the Secretary General’s call for all of us to put life above any type of consideration.”

By March 30, the BBC reported, “The left-wing National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group in Colombia has declared a unilateral ceasefire for a month starting on 1 April.”

That same day the website for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia posted, “The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement by the National Liberation Army (ELN) of a one-month unilateral ceasefire starting April 1 to facilitate the response to the COVID pandemic- 19 in Colombia.”

That statement adds, “He hopes that this gesture, following his global call for a ceasefire, can bring relief to vulnerable communities and groups in Colombia’s conflict-affected regions, and help authorities focus on fighting the pandemic. The Secretary-General calls on other armed groups to do the same.”

The civil society statement signed by PBI-Colombia and issued on April 3 highlights, “We call on the Colombian state to take all preventive measures to protect the lives of social leaders, people who reintegrated, people deprived of their liberty, and in general those who live in areas impacted by violence and poverty.”

The statement can also be read in full on the PBI-Colombia website here.

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