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News > Latin America

Colombia Peace Deal Must Protect Indigenous and Afro-Colombian Rights

  • Colombians show the word

    Colombians show the word "peace" on the palms of their hands. | Photo: AFP

Published 27 June 2016

The government and the FARC reiterated their commitment to the inclusion and protection of ethnic and cultural rights in the final peace agreement.

The delegations of the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia met Monday with representatives of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities to help ensure that their rights are protected and respected in the forthcoming peace agreement.

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In a joint statement by the two sides, it was emphasized that : "The territorial peace will only be possible in more than 30 percent of the rural territory of the country if the ethnic groups that inhabit it are included, along with their wealth of experience in building peace, and the value of their rights as mechanisms to prevent new conflicts in the implementation of the agreements.”

The delegations also reiterated their commitment to the respect for and protection of ethnic and cultural diversity of all communities living in the South American nation.

The talks, which were held in Havana, Cuba, are framed in point six of the Agenda of the General Agreement establishing the "implementation, verification and countersignature."

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On June 23 the two sides’ peace delegations announced they had reached an agreement on a bilateral and definitive cease-fire, disarmament and security guarantees, an integral before the final peace deal is reached.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said last week that he expects a  definitive agreement to be reached by July 20.

Official figures estimate that the armed conflict in Colombia has caused about 260,000 dead, 45,000 disappeared, and 6.9 million displaced.

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