RealNews

Peace Panel Recommends Talks with Colombia Militias

A Colombian peace commission on Wednesday recommended the government launch formal peace talks with far-right paramilitaries, boosting hopes for the demobilization of some 15,000 fighters. The six-member commission, named last year by the government to conduct exploratory talks with paramilitary leaders observing a cease-fire since December, also said President Alvaro Uribe should appoint international observers to bolster negotiations. It recommended the government continue the peace process “under the condition that there is a total and verifiable cease-fire, with the main goal being the demobilization and reincorporation to society of paramilitaries.” The various factions of paramilitaries sprang up as vigilante groups set up by cattle ranchers and drug lords against Marxist guerrillas fighting in the country’s four-decade war. They have been blamed for some of the worst atrocities in Colombia’s war, which claims the lives of thousands of people every year. Full Story

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