In Colombia, Peace Can Happen
June 23, 2016 — The General Board of Global Ministries joins with the people of Colombia as they celebrate and give thanks today for the end to more than 50 years of war between the Colombian government and guerrilla forces.
After nearly four years of negotiations between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño will announce they have reached an agreement for a “definitive bilateral ceasefire and end to hostilities,” paving the way for a final peace pact in the weeks to come.
DiPaz, the Interchurch Dialogue for Peace, a grassroots church effort for peace and reconciliation in Colombia, called the announcement “a political moment of great historical significance.” In a statement, DiPaz said that across Colombia today, simultaneous liturgical celebrations will mark the historic event, and it called for expressions of solidarity, using #LaPazSeaContigo, or “peace be with you,” through social networks.
Thomas Kemper, Global Ministries general secretary said, “We should relish every opportunity to celebrate peacemaking around the world. The ceasefire between FARC and the Colombian government demonstrates that even in the most hostile situations, peace is possible.”
The definitive bilateral ceasefire agreement will be announced in Havana, Cuba, where the long years of peace talks were held. Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, and other diplomats and dignitaries are expected to attend.