State representatives met with Catholic Church leaders Friday to discuss the church’s talks with criminal groups, after the government had refused to authorize the Medellin ceasefire brokers to conduct further negotiations.
High Commissioner for Peace Frank Pearl announced following the meeting that the government and the church had agreed that priests can continue to pursue “pastoral dialogues” with criminals from the groups in question.
Pearl clarified that Catholic Church representatives will continue these dialogues with the aim of bringing the criminals to justice.
The archbishop of Medellin, Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo, was one of brokers of the Medellin gangs ceasefire.
The brokers, who negotiated a truce between Medellin gangs, were banned from conducting further negotiations by the government on Wednesday.
The church rejected the government’s restrictions, saying that it was their obligation to communicate with the criminal groups.
The ceasefire negotiated by the brokers came into effect on February 1 and has already drastically affected Medellin’s homicide rates.