The United States government is to grant Colombia a further $420,000 to aid the country’s peace process, the US Deputy Secretary of State announced earlier this month.
The new support, funded by the US Agency for International Development, will enable the Organization of American States (OAS) to “advance its efforts in the areas of land restitution; reparation, truth, and reconciliation; justice, peace, and transitional justice; and disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration,” according to the US State Department.
The aid forms part of the OAS’s “Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia.”
US aid for Colombia has been consistent with the continuation of Plan Colombia, a bilateral agreement between the United States and Colombia aimed at reducing drug trafficking and cultivation, as well as fighting leftist rebel groups.
In March, General John Kelly of the US Southern Command met with Colombia’s Defense Minister, Juan Carlos Pinzon, to discuss advances in security plans between the two nations, and how to negotiate with Colombia’s oldest guerrilla group, the FARC.
Pinzon emphasized the good relations with the United States saying that “it is of great importance to maintain a strong and integral relationship with the US Armed Forces in order to defend our country.”
The Colombian government has engaged in peace talks with the FARC since November 2012, and recently announced the initiation of peace negotiations with the country’s second-largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN).
Both negotiations are set to continue during the second term of recently reelected president, Juan Manuel Santos.
- Remarks at the 44th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (US State Department)
- United States Announces New Contribution to the OAS Mission To Support the Peace Process in Colombia (OAS/MAPP) (US State Department)