Colombia calls for guerrillas to follow ETA, end violence

Colombia’s Vice President Angelino Garzon called for guerrillas to demobilize on Tuesday at the opening of a meeting at the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (Eurolat) in Brussels.

At the meeting, Garzon called on guerrillas in Colombia to follow Spain’s terrorist group ETA in opting to choose a path of non-violence. In his speech, the VP stated “understand that what our people want is to live in peace.”

The vice president also pleaded that guerrillas release all prisoners as well as forcibly recruited children.

Garzon recalled the “tragedy” that his country has lived “throughout 62 years of violence” while emphasizing that Colombians no longer have to be “prisoners of fear.”

Throughout his speech, the VP insisted that the Colombian government believes that economic growth is a path towards ending the violence. He highlighted that economic growth “has to be linked to the growth of the economy of citizens, starting with employment and decent wages for workers.” He also added that great efforts are being made to “reduce poverty, misery, and unemployment.”

Garzon also assured the assembly that there have been made “great efforts for ensuring a policy of respect for human rights,” including freedom of association in Colombia.

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