AMERICA/COLOMBIA - “We must all support efforts to continue the dialogue for peace”

Bogotà (Agenzia Fides) – “We must all support and defend efforts to promote peace” the national director of Social Pastoral of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Colombia , Mgr. Héctor Fabio Henao, told the press. These efforts, the priest said , should be undertaken by both the government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) in order to put an end to the conflict which has raged for half a century . The press note forwarded to Fides says: "All processes pass through difficult times and situations when the parties involved have to clarify many things, but we must persevere and progress along this path”. Mons. Henao referred to the friction which has arisen in peace talks taking place in Cuba (see Fides 20/11/2012), due to recent government statements regarding thousands of hectares of land taken from farmers reportedly by FARC troops. The rebels replied that this accusation could cause peace talks to ‘break down’. Colombian Home Minister, Fernando Carrillo, accused the rebels of interrupting the talks since they continue to kidnap army soldiers and launch attacks on civilians . "It is up to them, the FARC, to break the deadlock in the peace talks by ceasing to kidnap Colombians ", the Minister said. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 25/02/2013)