Historic ceasefire in Colombia

31.08.2016

A bilateral and definitive ceasefire agreed by the Colombian government and the FARC will bring peace to the country after 50 years of violence.

“I would like to express IndustriALL's resolute support for the peace process in Colombia. This is what the Colombian people deserve after 50 years of violence that has affected the entire population.

“In particular, it led to the persecution of workers and the trade union movement and violence that cost the lives of 3,000 activists in the last 30 years,” said Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL Global Union general secretary.

The ceasefire began on 29 August, after more than four years of negotiations between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the guerrilla group formed in 1964.

On 25 August, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, announced that he had ordered his troops to implement a definitive ceasefire against the FARC EP at midnight on 29 August. Three days later, the FARC leader, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri (Timochenco) also announced the end of the war, ordering his troops to observe a ceasefire at the same time.

Although everything seems set for a return to peace in Colombia, it remains for Colombians to vote on 2 October.

At the end of 2015, IndustriALL’s affiliated trade unions in the mining and energy sectors and environmental, social and community organizations throughout the country formed a mining, energy and environmental social forum to discuss the role of renewable and non-renewable natural resources in peacetime.

On 25 August, they discussed the main proposals, which they had already approved, and held a rally to launch the proposals to the country. They aim to encourage regional and national policies and measures to defend workers’ needs, protect the environment, and ensure that income from natural resources is used to provide decent living conditions.

“IndustriALL and affiliated unions have done their best to complete this work and we will continue to do so because we are convinced that peace is the best option for the people," concluded IndustriALL’s assistant regional secretary, Marino Vani.