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Participation and Ceasefire

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Participation and Ceasefire

Jose Felix Lafaurie Rivera


Due to the country’s “disbelief” in the peace processes, the statements by the president’s son managed to eclipse the start of the ceasefire with the ELN for 180 days, extendable.

Also installed on August 3, the National Participation Committee, made up of 81 people representing 30 organizations from various social sectors, which, initially, will tour the country looking for communities to contribute to the design of the participation model of the society in the construction of peace.

As a Colombian and a member of the government commission, I hope that participation will be an effective exercise and, as I stated in my speech, I want to believe in the ELN’s commitment to the ceasefire and ceasefire.

It is clear that the cessation of all types of violence is essential for a real and contributing participation, since the harassment of the population is a system of domination in fact. As I have publicly stated and also reiterated at the event, only a society free of all domination will be able to participate in the construction of peace.

Finally, the broad and free participation of society is at the base of the transformations to improve life in the territories, but this is not a process that only concerns the Government, the ELN and the communities. A thousand agreements can be signed, but true peace is not signed or negotiated, it is built daily, among all of us, because it is everyone’s business.

That is why it is necessary to convince Colombia that peace is possible from transformations that impact 14 million compatriots who live in the countryside. How to do it?

I have proposed a “great pilot” in Catatumbo, for example, concentrating the presence and resources of the State there to, in a ceasefire environment, bring security, public goods and private investment with tax incentives.

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When Colombia sees the displacement of coca by agricultural production, the other regions will take the initiative to make their own transformations with the State and the private sector.

Then the country will be able to advance in a Great National Agreement, political and social, that deals with the fundamentals: justice, education, health, and all the deficiencies that are behind drug trafficking, corruption, and inequality.

As an example that this Great Agreement is possible, the president mentioned the one signed with Fedegán for the sale of land in its mixed version: The Government buys part of his land from the rancher and gives him credit to increase his production in what he has left , allocating the purchase to Agrarian Reform.

Many agreements like this could be achieved in other sectors to set the benchmark for the Great National Agreement and to build peace.

I have faith in Colombia. Peace with the ELN is only a part of the enormous debt of postponements to make the transformations that the country demands, needs and deserves.

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