The Ecumenical Group of Women Builders of Peace- GemPaz- gathered in the city of Cali for its 8th National Encounter: "Women of Faith, Artisans of Peace and Reconciliation", from May 24th to May 26th 2019. We call for Colombian society to not faint in the search for peace and reconciliation, as it requires the effort and participation of all the different sectors without distinction.
Almost 30 months after the signing of the Agreement with the FARC EP armed group, we as a nation are going through a very difficult moment that puts our commitment for building a stable and lasting peace to the test. A real commitment should lead to a path of inclusion, reconciliation, and peace, as well as recognition for our brothers and sisters who abandoned their weapons and are now moving towards civil life.
We recognize that this Agreement, as well as the efforts of dialogue with the ELN National Liberation Army, are important and necessary steps for definitively overcoming the conflict in Colombia.
As part of the Colombian ecumenical movement for peace, we are convinced that the words and actions of the Women of Faith are key contributions for making the "reconciliation journey in Colombia" a reality. Therefore, today we pay homage to the hundreds of brothers and sisters whose lives were taken away during the process of implementing the Agreement. As a group we request:
- To the government of Iván Duque: that you comply with the Agreement signed with the FARC EP, which was endorsed by the High Courts, recognized by the international community and represents an opportunity to move forward as a nation. We emphasize that this Agreement has territorial, gender and ethnic elements that should be complied as well.
- To the Colombian State headed by President Duque: that you take the necessary measures to stop this bloodbath. As Head of State, the president not only has the mechanisms, but also has the legal, moral and ethical obligation to guarantee the life and work of the people who defend peace and Human Rights in Colombia.
- To the Christian churches (Catholic, Evangelical, Protestant, Pentecostal, and all other denominations): that you recognize that your actions have been part of the multiple causes for the prolonged Colombian armed conflict. Therefore, we encourage you to become a meeting point for truth and mercy by exercising the ministries of reconciliation. We encourage you to give time and space for justice and peace to happen, since in order to amend the damage that has been done we must align ourselves with a concept that the future must be defined by Truth, Justice, Reparation and no Repetition.
We encourage all sectors to keep the hope alive and to continue demanding from the armed actors a real commitment to look for political alternatives that do not involve violence once and for all.
Enough is enough!
May peace not cost us our lives!
The Ecumenical Group of Women Builders of Peace- GemPaz-
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