This is an August 2007 copy of a website maintained by the Center for International Policy. It is posted here for historical purposes. The Center for International Policy no longer maintains this resource.

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Last Updated:1/10/02
Statement of Colombian Government High Commissioner for Peace Camilo Gómez, January 9, 2002

HIGH COMMISSIONER STATEMENT ABOUT THE PEACE PROCESS

San Vicente del Caguán, January 9, 2002 (ANCOL). – We have come to this meeting with our best attitude, to advance in the peace process. The Government has not saved any efforts to consolidate a political negotiated solution as the best form to solve this conflict.
The Distention Zone is a procedure created only to advance in the peace process and all the necessary security guarantees for the FARC members have always been given.

On the last three months, since we signed the San Francisco Agreement, we have been ready to advance in the fulfillment of the agreement but the FARC did not advance in this and did not keep the pact.

The Government brought proposals and alternatives that give perspectives to the process. The FARC have rejected them and only insist in that we should change the controls over the zone without considering concrete possible alternatives to advance. The Government has been clear: "all the guarantees are given!" and the country and the world know it. The Government has been here, it has been here during this three years and is willing to maintain its doors open to dialogue and negotiation .

After listening to the FARC in several discussion rounds, the Government understands that this guerrilla group doesn't wish to continue in the peace process and has asked for 48 hours, agreed upon since the start of the distension zone as I had said in the table. I will travel now to Bogota to meet with Mr. President, who knows of the recent developments of the meetings.

Colombians have been patient, they have understood that peace is not constructed in a day, they have accompanied with resignation this process held in the middle of war expecting results that would lead to an end of violence. The Government has not saved a minute in trying to reach this and in this our conscience and that of all Colombians is in peace.

To the population of the Distension Zone I want to tell them to be calm. The Government will guarantee their security. The necessary measures to maintain order will be taken.

As of January 10, 2002, this document was also available online at http://www.presidencia.gov.co/webpresi/noticias/
ingles/2002/enero/2002010901.htm

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