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THE GUNS FALL SILENT By Jesus Rojas

posted 10 Jul 2016, 10:54 by Gerry Kangalee
The bilateral agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP), signed a few days ago in Havana, Cuba, flooded the streets with joy. After 52 years the guns are silenced after an irreversible pact that prepares the Colombian people for the end of the conflict. The document includes bilateral and definitive cease-fire, the surrender of weapons, security guarantees and the mechanism of countersignature of the peace agreements.

The signing of the definitive bilateral ceasefire is due largely to Commander Chavez, President Nicolas Maduro, and the great and wonderful Venezuelan people, the Cuban people and their leaders, Raul and Fidel. They have made it possible for Colombia to start a path of struggle for democracy and social justice.

For Colombia the time has come to show that politics is a tool superior to war to resolve conflicts of large interests. The signing of the ceasefire between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army (FARC-EP) involves a great step that will lead the country on the path of peace. The ceasefire not only involves silencing the rifles; it also means that it will bring to an end the habit of exercising violence as a means to achieve political goals.The bilateral ceasefire was one of the nodal axes of talks in relation to the termination of armed confrontation and the discussion about pardon and amnesty.

In addition to these process requirements are the demands for social transformation that the insurgency has managed to introduce in the different agenda, throughout the history in attempts to negotiate a solution to the social and armed conflict in our neighbouring country.

Although the inclusion of issues such as the comprehensive agrarian reform, political participation of excluded sectors or structural State reforms and economic models, have been within the agenda, the position of the Colombian state has always been reticent to them and it has been the insurgency who insisted on putting forward these subjects to achieve the peace agreement - a state policy which at the time did not want to advance a cessation of hostilities and an insurgency that repeatedly demanded the realization of an agreement as soon as possible on the issue. In turn, some political sectors linked to traditional and warmongering powers that were working to seriously hinder the progress of the process and pressed for not allowing a ceasefire.

The bilateral ceasefire mediated by the participation of governments and international organizations, as well as the parties and organized Colombian society, would be responsible for coordinating and verifying compliance, avoiding any kind of suspicion in the case of a "military attack” by any of the parties. It is clear that this bilateral ceasefire agreement has given greater strength to the peace process, allowing faster progress in discussions on various topics agreed. At the same time, it will enable the different communities that have been involved in the conflict to participate actively in the process of reconstruction and national reconciliation; establishing itself as the first step to start a process of real democratic opening.

The balance is then inclined in favour of peace with social justice, removing the possibility of a peace that was commissioned to continue perpetuating inequality. This historic agreement signed in Havana opens the door to the historical process of building a just peace, stable in time and lasting in its arteries.

Peace is making its way, the agreements between the national government and the insurgency of the FARC, are an essential element that we must all defend and actively participate in social mobilization to defeat the warmongers and build that social justice, so desired by the Colombian people.
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