During the launch Monday of an international forum of experts on demining in Colombia, the country’s High Commissioner for Peace Sergio Jaramillo described as “worrisome” that the end of the internal conflict has become mired in a legal debate, rather than ensuring the rights of displaced people to return to their territories and the urgency of humanitarian demining.
“I have expressed my concern that we lose ourselves in legal discussions in this country as if this were ‘peace.’ Peace is the end of a war that has lasted 50 years,” stated Jaramillo.
“Without mine clearance we will not be able to put into place comprehensive agricultural development, nor alternative development.”
Jaramillo addressed the importance of the army in the mine clearance process and possible ways the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) will also help resolve this nationwide scourge.
“In the case of FARC, we can design programs of reinsertion which give support to the state’s strategy and which meet the objectives of reparations,” said Jaramillo.
The High Commissioner also highlighted the successful demining efforts currently underway in the villages of El Orejón and St. Helena, as a sign of joint cooperation between the guerrillas and the army in peace building.
“We agreed from Havana two projects which in their implementation have shown the difficulties of clearing terrain, but which also have shown us that if there is political will, things can get done.”
President Juan Manuel Santos recently remarked that in the upcoming weeks there could be important news from the peace negotiation table in Havana on a possible date for formally-ending the conflict.