Political Declaration of the Dublin meeting on solidarity with the Colombian peace process
Political Declaration of the “ European conference in solidarity with the agrarian and popular struggles , and in support of the talks for Peace with Social Justice in Colombia.” Dublin, April 20-21, 2013
After three days of discussions, in an atmosphere of comradeship, unity and frankness, the participants in the “European conference in solidarity with the agrarian and popular struggles and in support of the talks for Peace with Social Justice in Colombia, we, Colombians in exile and internationalists coming from Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden and Spain, have arrived at the following conclusions.
-A fundamental task facing us in Europe is to give support to the talks currently taking place in Havana between the national government and the insurgency of the FARC. As a part of this support we see three central elements; - the development of the peace process to involve the other insurgents, (ELN. EPL), and the proposals emanating from the social movements; - A bilateral ceasefire, so as to create the right atmosphere for productive discussions. We urge the European Union to lift its description of the FARC as “terrorists”, an act which obstructs political dialogue, reinforces militarist tendencies and undermines the efforts to open up a space for political and democratic development; furthermore, it is in contradiction with the fact that a direct dialogue is taking place.
-We are appalled at the persistence, indeed the intensification, of the repression directed against the human rights defenders, political activists of the opposition and movements which proclaim the right to a decent life. This repression bears down particularly strongly on the peasant movements, especially those demanding the return of their land, and the reserved zones for the peasantry. We feel that you cannot talk of a sustainable, durable peace if you do not protect the right to life of the very people who are the moving forces in the construction of a democratic, peaceful and inclusive Colombia.
-We must recognise the grave humanitarian crisis which exists in the Colombian prisons, where thousands of political prisoners and prisoners of war are held in conditions which do not meet the minimum standards for a human being. We call for support for all initiatives to bring this situation to light, and to make this issue a priority for the European authorities and for all those acting in solidarity with the Colombian process.
-We should get involved with the European social organisations, peace and solidarity movements and internationalists in support of social struggles in support of this task of building a Colombia in peace with social justice. Those social sectors in Colombia who have mobilised in order to overcome the structural causes of the conflict need support. European governments and citizens can give a decisive backing to the talks among all the parties so that they can reach an agreement. We call on Colombian exiles and immigrants in Europe to commit themselves to the search for solutions to the problems which gave rise to the social conflict and armed struggle, and to actively mobilise to back this political process towards a negotiated settlement.
We acknowledge the goodwill expressed to this meeting. We appreciate the support that this meeting has received from the diplomatic missions in Ireland of Venezuela, Chile, Norway, and most especially Colombia. We are grateful for the backing of the Irish Government, as conveyed to us by Joe Costello, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, who once more expressed the government's interest in sharing the lessons of the Irish peace process with the parties.
Our thanks go to to Irish politicians such as Maureen O'Sullivan, and to solidarity organisations such as Justice for Colombia, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Venezuela-Ireland Network and the Latin America Solidarity Centre, among others, for their messages of support, also the Communist Party of Ireland and Sinn Féin. Other organisations in Europe also expressed their support including ZAS, AIPAZComún, the Party of Labour, Solidarité Latine, Che-Marx and CETIM (Switzerland) The German Communist Party, the International Forum of Denmark, The Radio Café Stereo (Sweden) and INTAL (Belgium)
We especially appreciate the messages we have received from Colombia; - from Fensuagro, Astrocol, Astracava, Pupsoc, Conap, CCVC, Sinaltrainal Pradera, Comité de Coteras de Caña del Cauca y del Valle del Cauca, Brigada Jurídica Eduardo Umaña, Political Prisoners of la Marina en Picaleña (Ibagué, Tolima), the Antonio Nariño collective of political prisoners and prisoners of war, (Combita, Boyacá), the Octava Papeleta for Health and Social Security as Fundamental Rights, as well as from innumerable individuals committed to a peaceful Colombia with social justice.
The feeling was unanimously expressed, that this is the time to gather forces to give support to these negotiations, which have powerful enemies who have no need to conceal themselves. In this spirit we applaud such initiatives as the Peace Congress at the weekend in Bogotá, and planned events such as the Ecumenical Forum for Peace in Bogotá, and the Peace Forum in Brazil. The enormous mobilisation for peace, democracy and the defense of the public, convened by a great number of social organisations and personalities, including the Santos government and the FARC insurgency, is an event of great significance; more than a million people demonstrated to impress on the warring parties their desire for dialogue.
It is also time to decisively help the struggle which the popular movements and peasants' organisations are waging in Colombia, with a special emphasis on the political prisoners and the Colombians who are persecuted and stigmatised for their political commitment, for it is they who are the real builders of a Colombia which can end the war by overcoming its objective causes.
Our call is above all for unity, for honest work and commitment to solidarity with the popular movement and the peace talks in Colombia, to overcome all pettiness and collaborate generously with this aim and purpose which brings together all our desires for one single objective, peace with social justice.