Last Updated:10/5/00
Statement from the Coordination for Peace in Colombia, a group of French NGOs, August 30, 2000


The undersigned NGOs, members of the "Coordination for Peace in Colombia" urgently ask for a definite position on the following aspects of the situation:

1. The Plan Colombia, in its american militarized version, was rejected by the European Union, particularly by France, as contrary to the peace process. Adhering to this position, we denounce the fumigation operation started in Putumayo of which social and ecological consequences are incalculable. Besides, this Plan is considered as an act of war by one of the parties in conflict.

2. The conjuncture in the Magdalena Medio is significant of a civil war situation with reconquest by paramilitary forces of important territories submitted to ordinary practices for"political cleaning", carrying along inevitably violence escalation. Already 366 persons have been assassinated since January 2000, and Colombian press states about a list of 700 persons supposed to be assassinated before the end of the year.
This offensive does not depend on Putumayo operation and shows that United Self-defense of Colombia (paramilitary forces) try to force their recognition as an armed actor. They cannot pretend to be that without at least the complicity of the army and the indifference of United States themselves.

3. The European Union is going to consider again the question of the content of the Plan Colombia in relation with the Colombian civil society and this together with the NGOs and International Community representatives.
In this process, due to the war situation, some points must be examined with the greatest attention. Particularly, we must avoid that European aids might support economically positions acquired by strength and terror.
Then we think that the European Union, and particularly France who assumes actually its Presidence, must continue to denounce the risks of militarization of the peace process, start a diplomatic approach towards United States and Colombia, and encourage alternative pacific solutions accepted by the armed actors and the Colombian civil society, such as they should be discussed during the Conference planned in Costa Rica.

Paris, 30th August 2000

Collectif pour la Colombie
Secours Catholique
Ecole de la paix
France Amérique Latine
France Libertés
Pax Christi France
Frères des Hommes
Amnesty International
Enfants du Monde - Droits de l'Homme
Terre des Hommes
Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l'Homme

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