Media Center

Press Release


  March 16, 2005

The demobilization process underway in Colombia is producing unprecedented results and deserves the continued support of the Organization of American States (OAS), the head of the OAS Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia, Sergio Caramagna, said today.

In his fourth quarterly report to the OAS Permanent Council, Caramagna said that nearly 4,000 members of the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) have laid down arms since last November, and the territories where they once operated are now ready to be occupied by the institutions of government, paving the way for civilian status for thousands of people.

Caramagna said that “a process of demobilization without precedent in the history of Colombia has been achieved,” adding that the possibility now exists to “begin breaking down little by little the enormous wall of violence that has submitted the Colombian people to one of the longest and most painful experiences of our continent.”

Caramagna also warned that Colombia faces a complex post-conflict process in areas where the demobilization has taken place. “Colombia should not go through this experience alone; it requires the effective, concrete, and practical solidarity of all the people of the hemisphere,” he said.

Among its conclusions, the report states: “The reintegration into civilian society of those who have been demobilized, the workings of justice in cases where serious crimes have been committed, the reconstruction of the truth, and reparations programs for the victims of violence will be the most meaningful tasks from now on.”

Colombia’s Ambassador to the OAS, Alvaro Tirado Mejía, underscored the importance of the mission’s cooperation with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and called on the member states to support the OAS efforts in his country. “For Colombia, it is important that the mission be able to intensify its work of accompanying the communities, if we want a process that is sustainable in the long term,” he said.

In his remarks to the Permanent Council, OAS Acting Secretary General Luigi R. Einaudi reiterated the mission’s need for financial support from the member states to carry out its difficult responsibilities.

Reference: E-050/05