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The Two Colombias
by Vanessa Torres
Tuesday Jan 23rd, 2001 3:46 PM
An article about the struggle in my homeland.

For the good of the vast majority of Colombians, the official dialogues begun on January 7 of this year offer viable hope for democratic peace with social justice. We can seek this reality by defining political, economic, social, and structural measures that will root out the profound inequalities that have generated the controversy, expressed in the crises that affect the co-existence of the entire nation.

The dialogues allow the world to witness the gravity of the conflict and the dignified, civilized and fraternal meeting of the two Colombias. One is represented by the president of the republic with various government agents and other state components representing the establishment and the media.

The other is the Colombia of the dispossessed, with the incomparable majority of social expressions in the most varied shades, and growing needs, led by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - Army of the People, FARC-EP, the true armed, political, and revolutionary opposition become an indisputable option for power and change. We detailed some of the motives confronting and distancing the two Colombias in the resolved fight for the fundamental rights and liberties of an entire people. By signaling several cases of overt and covert war with monstrous consequences, unfortunately remembered in the chilling data of pain and death and a tragic bottom line of unabashed usurpations, some of which have led the destiny of the country since forever.

Today we Colombians are in the eyes of the International Community recognized as people who fervently desire peace. We have the solemn responsibility to our compatriots to contribute all the intellectual and fighting capacity possible to attain the flexibility of the State to benefit true peace and thus definitively close the path on the militarist enemies of political solutions.

This noble national longing to re-unite the two Colombias is realizable with a strong economic investment in the countryside and in the cities; with overwhelming and decided fighting against corruption and weakening the State security forces so they never again use arms and laws against the hungry and dispossessed, merely because they demand their just rights. Would that the expectations of Colombians and foreigners with respect to peace be cemented in a true development treaty, with sovereign independence, the equal distribution of wealth, the defense of the environment that protects natural resources, finding paths to lighten the load of the foreign debt with its high interest, to convene strategies of shared commitment in the fight against all aspects of drug trafficking, and lead a Colombia with a firm step toward the coming millennium.

This is the long awaited peace and the one all Colombians deserve, with no exceptions. And as long as there is political willingness from the class in power to definitively unite the two Colombias, making the lives of the poor dignified, we will doubtless merit the applause and the reaffirmation of recognition and admiration for our ability to heal the deep wounds of the violent class confrontation today in our political struggle. Thus, once more the FARC-EP's incontrovertible aim of peace has been demonstrated, once more in its history of political struggle, in the more than 34 years of fighting for the needs of the people, with the proposal of the 10 Point Program set forth in the Platform for dialogues with the government and the whole nation, leading to finding a solution to the urgent needs of the immense majority of Colombians who want peace.

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