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Human rights

Manifesto for urban peace: For war nothing!

Various social organizations, collectives and citizen networks join together to express their commitment to achieving urban peace in Medellin and the Metropolitan Area.

For the past six months, human rights defenders from Medellin and the Metropolitan Area have been meeting continuously with the objective of sharing agendas and experiences around peace building and the role played by civil society actors in the development of this policy pronounced by the National Government.

En el manifesto, las organizaciones, colectivos, redes y alianzas firmantes anuncian la creación de un comité de impulso con el propósito de aportar desde el diálogo a la formulación y construcción de una agenda de la sociedad civil para lograr la paz urbana.

"We recognize the immense wealth, quantitative and qualitative, of peace experiences in Medellín and municipalities of the Aburrá Valley, some of them with a high degree of maturity and with proposals of neighborhood, community, township and city scope, and with significant contributions at the cultural, economic, social, political, ecological and victims' level.”, se lee en el manifiesto.

For Carlos Zapata, president of the Instituto Popular de Capacitación (IPC), the organization that signed the manifesto, "the issue of total peace and the dialogues with the Itagüí table have apparently come to a standstill. With this manifesto we expect answers from the peace commissioner, the Government of Antioquia and the Mayor's Office of Medellín, where they demonstrate their true willingness to continue the process. En este momento tenemos las cifras más bajas en materia de homicidio y otro tipo de delitos en la ciudad, registradas en los últimos años y esperamos que nuestros gobernantes aprovechen este camino que puede permitir la desestructuración de estas organizaciones”.

The hopes for the progress and achievements of the total peace project live in the inhabitants of Medellin and the Metropolitan Area, who have been resilient victims of the damages caused by an urban war.

Adiela María Albánez, coordinator of the Human Rights Roundtable of Valle de Aburra, highlights the importance of involving all sectors of civil society in the construction of this total peace agenda, in order for it to be a comprehensive and restorative process for the victims, and calls on the National Government to support this type of initiative.

"We have been carrying out a process of generating awareness and building territorial peace in those same spaces where they are. It means telling them that we are not going to attack them, we are not going to denounce them or point fingers at them. But also to tell the National Government that sometimes we do not have those guarantees to be able to continue, to be peace consultants in these places where the need is high", says Albanéz.

With this manifesto, the organizations call on the National Government to accelerate the processes of "urban-rural interventions with the instruments of peace" that benefit the inhabitants of the areas affected by violence; to the illegal armed structures linked to the peace process so that they "do not desist and promote confidence-building events"; and to the organizations that are not yet linked to join the "yearning for coexistence, reconciliation and Peace in Medellin and the Aburrá Valley".

Learn more about and sign the manifesto here:  MANIFIESTO POR LA PAZ URBANA