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Colombia’s president proposes multilateral ceasefire to armed groups

Colombian President Gustavo Petro today proposed a multilateral ceasefire to all armed groups in the country to achieve “total peace” and suspend the actions of the internal armed conflict.

“All the groups illegally present in (the municipality of) Ituango have sent letters to the government expressing their desire for peace. But from words, we must move to actions.”

“Dialogues must begin with their designated negotiators,” Petro said in this town in the northwestern department of Antioquia, where the second unified command post for life has been established.

Gustavo Petro. (Photo internet reproduction)
Gustavo Petro. (Photo internet reproduction)

As part of the government’s efforts to curb violence in the country, the first unified command post for life was established on Aug. 20 in the municipality of Caldono in the department of Cauca (southwest).

“In many cases, the issue is legal, the acceptance of the law. In others, there are political undertones. But the actions imply that there must be legitimate negotiators for these groups to talk to the state. The actions could begin with a multilateral ceasefire, which I propose to these groups throughout the country,” he added.

The president said his proposal aims to bring social investment to remote areas of the country where there is little state presence, and armed groups are targeting civilians.

Colombian Defense Minister Iván Velásquez announced last Thursday that bombings of armed groups’ camps were suspended to protect the lives of civilians and minors recruited by the rebels.

Petro announced on Aug. 7, when he came to power, that one of his main plans was “total peace,” for which he would negotiate with all armed groups.

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