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They stressed that the consolidation of peace in Colombia implies reaching peace in rural territories.
Through a message issued from Caracas (Venezuela) on Friday, the delegates of the Colombian Government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) invited the National Peasant Congress (CNC) to form a common space to discuss future changes in Colombia.
The head of the government negotiating team, Otty Patiño, recalled that the armed conflict has caused significant damage to peasants, including forced displacement, land concentration, poverty and violence.
He highlighted the will of President Gustavo Petro to provide protection to peasant rights through the "Total Peace" policy, which seeks to overcome the humanitarian tragedy that Colombia has experienced for decades.
The Petro administration and the ELN agree that the consolidation of peace in Colombia implies reaching peace in rural territories. This task cannot be achieved without the active participation of peasants, especially of peasant women because they often bear the greatest burden of the consequences of armed conflict.
Hace muchos años, estuve en estas reuniones para organizar políticamente el campesinado y el país. Era militante de una opción alternativa en Zipaquirá que se llamaba Carta del Pueblo, hoy impulso la gran Convención Nacional Campesina. https://t.co/56dBcm8nRx
President Petro's tweet reads, "Many years ago, I was at these meetings to politically organize the peasantry and the country. I was a militant of an alternative option in Zipaquira called the People's Charter. Today, I promote the great National Peasant Convention."
Catalina Perez Perez' tweet reads, "In the photo, Gustavo Petro, Orlando Fals Borda, Victor Manuel Rincon, Maximo Jimenez, among other comrades. Today the great National Peasant Convention begins, continuing the historic struggle for land and dignity of the peasantry in Colombia."
Petro intends to promote comprehensive rural reform and crop substitution, which are two policies that should have been implemented in a timely manner because they emerge from the 2016 Peace Agreement signed between the Colombian State and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP).
Patiño then invited the Peasant Convention to send delegates to the dialogue process that is taking place in Venezuela. This request was reiterated by the ELN delegate Pablo Beltran, who ratified the commitment of the parties to Colombian peasantry and agricultural production.
This policy vision aims to change the U.S.-promoted neoliberal model, which extracts wealth through the depredation of nature and the exploitation of workers.