The United States Ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker, visited the Colombian state of Meta on Wednesday to see first hand the programs that the Colombian government is developing for the demobilized population from the internal conflict.
On his first visit to the department Ambassador Whitaker had the opportunity to visit the Home of Peace located on the road to Restrepo, where he met with participants in the reintegration process for the first phase of demobilization. He was welcomed by Brigadier General Mauricio Ricardo Zuniga and was accompanied by the Director of the Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR), Alejandro Eder, and the Head of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Marcelo Pisani, among other.
Ambassador Whitaker also visited the Territorial ACR Group, where he met reintegration models designed by the agency and noted the services provided to participants in the reintegration process. These services include academic and technical training; strategies for income generation; counseling; legal advice and health assessment, among others.
In the Path of plateaus, where nearly half the population is composed of people displaced by the conflict, the Ambassador attended a scene of reconciliation, in which participants in the reintegration process have been carried out community work since 2013. There he met the social service work of 44 participants in the reintegration process have been carried out for the construction of a park and a community vegetable plot, and improvements to the ecological botanical garden path.
During lunchtime, the Ambassador met with 15 veterans of the FARC, ELN and AUC who have completed the reintegration process to share their experiences with the process. There was accompanied by the Meta governor Alan Jara, and Mayor in charge of Villavicencio, Bogota Lopez Wilson, with whom he met privately later.
Ambassador Whitaker summed up his impressions of the visit to the various programs and scenes of reconciliation that are taking place in the Meta. “I came to know the stages of the reintegration process and I’m really impressed. Process quality and professionalism with which it is handled are excellent. “