Colombia’s Truth Commission Tuesday urged President Ivan Duque’s administration to dialogue with illegal armed groups to achieve peace in the country.
“Indigenous people, farmers, and African-descendants are the most affected by clashes between armed groups,” stated the Commission, created after the signing of the Peace Agreement in 2016.
“It is suicide not to search for peace,” added commissioner Leyner Palacios, who is a survivor of the Bojaya massacre, one of the worst violent crimes of Colombia’s armed conflict.
According to Palacios, the systematic massacres are caused by the government’s lack of political will and its backtracking in negotiations with paramilitary groups.
In 2020, Colombia registered 76 massacres, the highest number reported since 2014. In those massacres, 292 people were killed, including 23 women, 6 girls, 18 boys, 7 Indigenous people, and 10 African-descendants.
“If Duque does not seek a solution to the armed conflict, he would condemn to death the country’s farmers and Indigenous communities, which are the most vulnerable to the armed groups’ violence,” Palacios warned.
This weekend, in the Tumaco border municipality, Nariño Department, four massacres left at least 11 people dead.