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Statement: WCC calls for peace in Colombia

The World Council of Churches (WCC), which this year focuses its attention on Colombia in the framework of its ‘Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace’, is undertaking during these days a series of solidarity visits to communities in Colombia which continue to be affected by violence and marginalization. In light of the experiences of these communities and of other recent events in the country – including a fatal attack on a police station in Barranquilla, the bombing of an indigenous reservation in Choco province, and a recent wave of assassinations of social leaders – the WCC expresses its concern for the continuation and fulfilment of the peace process in Colombia.

09 February 2018

The World Council of Churches (WCC), which this year focuses its attention on Colombia in the framework of its ‘Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace’, is undertaking during these days a series of solidarity visits to communities in Colombia which continue to be affected by violence and marginalization. In light of the experiences of these communities and of other recent events in the country – including a fatal attack on a police station in Barranquilla, the bombing of an indigenous reservation in Choco province, and a recent wave of assassinations of social leaders – the WCC expresses its concern for the continuation and fulfilment of the peace process in Colombia.

The resumption of such violent attacks following expiration of a ceasefire which had held since October 2017, and the suspension of the negotiations between the Colombian government and the ELN, raise great uncertainty and anxiety for the future path to a just and sustainable peace in the country. Resorting again to violence cannot strengthen the cause of peace, but can only weaken the shaky foundations of mutual trust on which peace must be built.

The WCC, together with its member and partner churches in Colombia, call for prayers for peace in Colombia, and appeal to all parties to refrain from further violence, to return to the table of dialogue, and to work to fulfil the long-held hopes of the Colombian people for peace and for justice.

Geneva 9 February, 2018

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

General Secretary

World Council of Churches