Afro-Colombian Peace Council Declaration on Colombia Peace Process

PUBLIC DECLARATION

The Afro-Colombian National Peace Council (CONPA), made up of the Afro-Colombian National Authority, the Association of Displaced Afro-Colombian s AFRODES, the Interethnic Solidarity Forum Choco FISCH, the National Network of Women KAMBIRI, Afro-Colombian Pastoral Centre CEPAC, the Association of Community Councils of Northern Cauca ACONC, the Afro-Colombian Labor Council CLAF, the Black Communities Process PCN, and the National Conference of Afro-Colombian Organizations CNOA, deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation and the negotiations between the National Government and the FARC (Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia), expresses that:

For us, the only solution to the armed conflict being waged in our country is a negotiated solution, and as such we ratify our support to the current peace process between the FARC and the National Government, and we urge the public phase of the negotiations with the ELN (National Liberation Army) be initiated.

The social and armed conflict that has been underway in Colombia for more than five decades, has substantially affected our people, deepening historical exclusion; undermining autonomy, the right to participation and to prior consultation; limiting the right to territory; creating conditions for increased precarious work in the receiving cities for the displaced; and subjecting Black people to a social and humanitarian crisis without precedents in the history of the country. The current escalation of the confrontation in our communities is generating displacement, confinement, persecution and stigmatization of Afro-Colombian leaders by the public forces and the FARC, the contamination of rivers and streams, the destruction of community infrastructure, etc, as a result of the continuous attacks by the groups in conflict.

The agreements and debates in Havana do not consider the ethnic and differential perspectives of our peoples. Therefore:

  • We call for the immediate adoption of humanitarian accords which leaves our territories, communities and rights out of the confrontation
  • The immediate adoption of protective measures for Afro-Colombian leaders that are threatened or at risk
  • We demand a bilateral ceasefire
  • We request that the parties receive a delegation made up of the Afro-Colombian , Black, Palenquero and Raizal people
  • We petition that a sub-commission be established that jointly addresses, with the Indigenous, Afro-Colombian-Black-Raizal, and Rom Peoples, the guarantee of rights in the agreements and in the implementation of them.

Given the humanitarian situation experienced in many of our territories, CONPA will work towards carrying out a Humanitarian Mission to Tumaco, and visits of accompaniment to other communities, for which we request the collaboration of the Ombudsperson, as well as United Nations and other humanitarian organizations that are present in the country.

Based on the above, the Organizations of Black Communities that make up CONPA, will continue developing the relevant actions to achieve a space for participation at the negotiating table, that will support the inclusion of our aspirations and that guarantee historical reparations for the Afro-Colombian people in post-conflict.

Bogota, 18 June 2015

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