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Supporting Peace In Colombia


U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, right, shakes hands with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos after giving a joint news conference at the presidential palace in Bogota, Colombia, Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The United States welcomes Colombia’s efforts to bring about peace after decades of war and the deaths of more than 220,000 between 1958 and 2012.

The United States welcomes Colombia’s efforts to bring about peace after decades of war and the deaths of more than 220,000 between 1958 and 2012. In the process, it is critical to ensure accountability and to protect those who are working to make Colombia a more peaceful, democratic, and secure state. That’s why the United States supports the Organization of American States Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia, or OAS/MAPP.

The mission's main objectives are to provide verification and advisory support to Colombia during the process of demobilization and reintegration of illegal armed groups, and to support peace efforts undertaken by Colombian institutions and communities.

To assist Colombia in this vital work, the United States recently announced a new contribution in support of OAS/MAPP in the amount of $420,000. This support, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, will enable OAS/MAPP to move ahead with land restitution; repatriation, truth and reconciliation; justice, peace, and transitional justice; and disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration.

The Colombian conflict has lasted more than five decades, making it the longest-running armed conflict in the Americas. According to a study by Colombia's National Center for Historical Memory, more than five million civilians were forcibly displaced between 1985 and 2012 due to fighting between the government, illegal armed groups including the FARC and ELN, paramilitary groups, and crime syndicates.

Established in 2004 with strong support from the United States, OAS/MAPP continues to support the Colombian people in their search for a just and conclusive peace that supports victims of violence and affected communities by fostering peaceful coexistence, recognizing victims' rights, and creating spaces conducive to reconciliation.

“We remain convinced,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom, “that this mission can help Colombia end the hemisphere’s last armed conflict.”
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