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I value the FARC’s unilateral ceasefire, but let’s speed up the process to reach the final ceasefire: President Santos

At the meeting of the National Environmental System (SINA), the Head of State demanded the group to stop its attacks against the environment.  

Bogotá, July 8, 2015 (SIG).  

The President of the Republic, Juan Manuel Santos, stated this Wednesday that he values the announcement made by the FARC guerrillas declaring a unilateral ceasefire, but added that he does not consider it is enough.

At the meeting of the National Environmental System (Sistema Nacional Ambiental - SINA), held in Bogotá, the President insisted on the need to speed up the dialogues in order to reach an agreement on the bilateral and final ceasefire, while he labelled the recent actions by the FARC against the environment as “ecocides”. 

“After perpetrating such ecocides over the past weeks, (…) this morning the FARC tell us that they will declare a unilateral ceasefire for one month. Certainly, I value that gesture, of course I do, but I do not consider it is enough”, the Head of State said.

In that same regard, the President added: “What we want in this country is to end this conflict as soon as possible”.

“And how do we end it? By speeding up the negotiations. They want a final and bilateral ceasefire, as the one we signed in the General Agreement; we are seeking a final and bilateral ceasefire, I want it too, so let’s speed up the negotiation regarding this final and bilateral ceasefire”, he pointed out.

President Santos stated that in order to set a final and bilateral ceasefire agreement in motion, it is necessary to hasten the negotiations, particularly regarding justice issues.

“To set it in motion, to apply it, we need to speed up the negotiations on the other topics, particularly the topic on justice, which is still pending”, he explained.

He remarked that if the FARC’s announcement of a unilateral ceasefire would also include commitments regarding justice and the final and bilateral ceasefire, it would be a major step forward in the negotiations in Havana.

“If that ceasefire is accompanied by specific commitments on progress in the topics of justice and the final and bilateral ceasefire, then we would really be speaking about a very serious and important step forward towards achieving that peace”, he stressed.

On the other hand, upon referring to the item on victims in the agenda agreed with the FARC, the Head of State disclosed that agreements have already been reached on that matter.

“On the topic of the victims, we have already achieved some agreements about truth, we created the Truth Commission, and we are about to reach an agreement on reparation, the other victims’ right”, he said.

In closing, upon rejecting the attacks that affect the environment, President Santos insisted that the FARC guerrillas must cease their attacks against nature. 

“I would like to say to the FARC: stop attacking the environment, because that makes no sense at all”, concluded the President.