In its latest report to the Organization of American States, the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia said that it was “positive and hopeful again,” despite concerns regarding massacres, selective killings and mass displacements.
The report “acknowledges the significant progress made by the Colombian government, taking into account the size and complexity of the peace process, a process that is unprecedented in our hemisphere because of their size,” said MAPP’s Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza.
“The process is at a key stage because of the need to consolidate the achievements and progress made regarding challenges the total return of peace, taking into account the dynamics that are still affecting certain communities,” he said.
However, he added that increased manpower was needed to control the emerging bands, and that massacres, selective killings and displaced indigenous communities were still a matter of great concern. MAPP’s report found that the dynamics associated with fighting and alliances involving so-called emerging gangs, crime and guerrillas cause heavy damage to communities and all stakeholders involved in the peace process, and calls for redoubled efforts by the Colombian State to combat these phenomena in an integrated and coordinated manner.
The report also highlights the efforts of the government and private sector to develop reintegration programs for former combatants, and acknowledges progress toward recovery of the institutions of the State in territories which were strongly influenced by paramilitaries, particularly in the dismantling of illegal structures that have emerged subsequent to the demobilization, reported newspaper El Tiempo.
“It recognizes the importance of implementing the Law of Justice and Peace which has enabled the prosecution of demobilized paramilitaries and guerrillas, access to the truth and the possibility of full reparation for victims,” Insulza said, adding that four years after the implementation of the law, it remains important to “expand further, to strengthen institutions and provide conditions for victims that would encourage them to use the process.”
The Alternate Representative for Colombia, Carlos Ivan Plazas, stated that his Government has promised to renew the MAPP/OAS mandate for another year, reported news source CMI.
“Thanks to the results achieved to date, and in order to enable the new government of Colombia to know the work of the mission and identify priorities for support of the MAPP, the Colombian government and the OAS has agreed to renew MAPP’s mandate for another year, which expires in January 2010,” Plazas said.
Both Plazas and Insulza recognized and thanked the international community for its involvement in the peace process.