Members of Colombia’s Catholic church say that they will not stop holding peace talks with guerrilla group the FARC and have asked the government not to criminalize such behavior, Caracol reported Wednesday.
Authorities from the church spoke in reference to the recently announced investigation of Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba for her alleged collaboration with the FARC outside of the parameters of her role as a hostage release negotiator.
Monseñor Leonardo Gomez Serna, of the Diocese of Magangue, said that members of the Church, as well as other peace activists for groups such as Colombians for Peace, have already faced criminal charges similar to those made against Cordoba.
“About fifteen years ago Prosecutor Gustavo de Greiff accused me of being a courier for the guerrilla. Also a commander from the army sued me as if I were a guerrilla … they could never prove anything, never,” said Gomez.
The church official said that contact with the FARC would not stop and they would continue to hold peace talks with the guerrilla group, but that this did not mean the church was involved in the group’s activity.
Former mayor and peace activist Gloria Cuartas said “The right to peace that we Colombians have cannot become a crime … we will continue working for our right to freedom, for humanitarian exchange, whatever happens in the country.”