On Sunday 17th June Colombians headed to the polls to vote for their new President. As of 5.30pm the results pointed to a clear victory by the candidate Ivan Duque with around 55% of the votes. The candidate through his political campaign has pledged to do substantial adjustments to the peace agreement between the Government and the guerrilla group, the FARC, signed in November 2016. Ivan Duque represents the far-right wing party, Centro Democrático, founded by former President Alvaro Uribe in 2013.
Thomas Mortensen, Christian Aid´s Country Manager in Colombia says:
“We are concerned about calls by the new President to adjust the peace agreement, which has been widely celebrated internationally as having the potential to transform Colombia into a more peaceful more inclusive and just society”.
“Should the new President modify the peace agreement, there is a danger that the number of FARC dissidents could increase. The potential modifications could also put at risk current peace negotiations being held between the government and another guerrilla group, the ELN.”
“We are concerned that weakening the transitional justice system would make it practically impossible to break with the cycle of widespread impunity for state crimes and for crimes involving business people who have collaborated with armed groups.”
“We congratulate Ivan Duque on his victory and encourage him to implement the peace agreement signed in 2016 and use his power to put an end to the conflict and guarantee the rights of Colombia´s 8.4 million registered victims. “
Christian Aid has been working with partners supporting communities to defend their rights to land and to live a life free from violence for more than 20 years. Since the beginning of the peace talks in 2012, we have supported partners and communities to pro-actively engage with the peace process.
Paula Plaza, Programme Communications Advisor, Christian Aid