Colombia’s Duque says working to cease slayings of group leaders

LIMA (Reuters) – Colombia is working to halt scores of slayings of group leaders by prison teams and remnant bands of rebels following the nation’s historic 2016 peace deal, President Ivan Duque mentioned on Friday, throughout a go to from the UN Safety Council.

FILE PHOTO: Colombia’s President Ivan Duque speaks through the 4th Pacific Alliance Summit in Lima, Peru July 6, 2019. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

The peace settlement with Marxist FARC rebels ended a half-century battle that killed some 260,000 individuals. However prison teams and the Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN) have stuffed the void left by the FARC in distant areas to manage narcotics and unlawful mining operations.

“They want to intimidate and kill social leaders who are calling on their communities to abandon illegal activities,” Duque advised journalists as he spoke beside the presiding head of the Safety Council, Gustavo Meza-Cuadra.

The Safety Council shall be in Colombia via Sunday to evaluate progress below the peace deal, which is being examined by the disappearance of a FARC lawmaker needed on drug-trafficking fees and by ongoing violence in elements of the nation.

Duque’s authorities has mentioned that, in keeping with instances verified by the United Nations, 281 group leaders have been killed from Could 2016 to Could 2019.

Duque mentioned that in his assembly with the Safety Council delegation, he detailed progress his authorities has made on lowering the tempo of killings of group leaders.

His authorities has mentioned the variety of killings of group leaders dropped about 30% over a current 9-month interval. However Human Rights Watch (HRW) has known as that deceptive as a result of scores of killings in that interval have been nonetheless being verified.

“The government of Colombia should be redoubling its efforts to address this crisis, not finding ways to downplay it,” Jose Miguel Vivano, HRW’s government director for the Americas mentioned in an announcement final month.

The peace settlement sought to demobilize some 13,000 FARC rebels, permitting them to re-integrate into society and politics.

Gustavo-Meza with the Safety Council praised Colombia’s peace deal as “example” for the world.

The delegation, which arrived late on Thursday, will go to re-integration packages for former FARC rebels and meet with representatives of the FARC political celebration and a particular court docket and fee for investigating battle crimes.

Duque mentioned he requested the Safety Council to proceed reviewing Colombia’s progress on fulfilling the peace settlement for an additional yr. “We think its work, scrutiny and accompaniment is vital to the success of this process,” he mentioned.

Reporting By Luis Jaime Acosta, Extra Reporting and Writing By Mitra Taj; Modifying by David Gregorio

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