The United Nations human rights office representative in Colombia, Christian Salazar, reiterated his call for a peaceful solution to the conflict Thursday, following the FARC’s announcement of hostage release plans.
At a press conference, Salazar said he recognized that talking about the armed conflict in Colombia was “extremely sensitive.”
For that reason the UN’s position was to “explore all possible avenues” that could lead to a peaceful resolution — avenues which made both sides “feel comfortable and want to advance.”
He said the deaths of four FARC hostages killed by their captors during a military offensive last month had “hit [the UN] hard,” but he believed that a new phase of hostage liberation might now begin.
The actions of the Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, gave Salazar cause for optimism. “The president of the republic maintains a line of keeping dialogue open. This is positive, because what’s bad for society and for us (…) is a spiral of violence on and on and on,” said the UN representative.
Salazar was responding to an announcement by the FARC that they planned to move forward with the unilateral release of hostages.
The rebels detailed the plans in a letter to ex-senator Piedad Cordoba earlier this week.