Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has expressed deep concern at the escalating violence in Colombia which is threatening the fledgling peace deal.
Deputy Crowe’s comments come after the assassination of two members of the FARC and six relatives of FARC members in Colombia in April.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Since 16 April two members of the FARC have been assassinated and six relatives of FARC members, including a 14 year old girl, have been murdered by right wing paramilitary groups. Some of these relatives had been kidnapped and tortured by these armed groups before being killed.
“These killings represent a grave threat to the recent ceasefire and the implementation of the peace agreements. They also indicate the urgent need to implement the promised protection measures agreed in the final peace accord. In particular, the specialised unit to dismantle criminal organisations including paramilitary successor groups who are responsible for the ongoing attacks against human rights defenders, social leaders and those involved in the implementation of the peace agreements.”
“People around the world, and especially in Colombia, warmly welcomed the historic peace agreement between the Colombia Government and the FARC rebel group. The agreement has the potential to end the over 50 year conflict and it gives Colombians a once in a lifetime chance to live in peace after decades of conflict and war.
“However, that accord won’t live up to any of its potential unless human rights defenders, social leaders, and those involved in its implementation are fully protected.
“Any fledgling peace deal cannot grow in a poisonous climate of fear and repression, and these latest killings are clearly threatening the peace process. This minority in Colombian society that do not want peace, equality and justice need to be confronted and stopped.
“I am calling on the Colombian Government to urgently bring to an end the continued brutal and violent actions of these right wing paramilitary groups and to fully implement all aspects of the internationally recognised peace agreement.”