By James Blears
In his 2017 visit to Colombia, at Simon Boliver Park in the Capital Bogota, His Holiness Pope Francisco urged every faction to swim instead of flounder by setting aside agendas. He said: "Jesus passes through Colombia and calls on its inhabitants to cast out into the deep, to take risks for peace and reconciliation."
During this week the National Liberation Army, the ELN scrapped a month long truce with the Colombian Government, taking into account the Coronavirus. Both sides immediately accused the other of not working hard enough to reach and secure a final peace pact, yet both are ready to resume cudgels. After the 2016, Peace Agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia the FARC, the ELN is the last major guerrilla group that`s still waging an armed conflict. It`s been dragging on since the 1960`s.
In this same week, eleven military officials have been fired and an Army General has been retired, following magazine reports of cyber spying on national and international journalists, politicians, members of the Government and even their own colleagues. Minister of Defense Carlos Holmes Trujillo confirms the investigation is ongoing. The Country and its ordinary people, are trying with all their might to return to the path of full democracy with peace for all. But the effort by some groups, who remain determined to cling to the coarse security blanket of the blundering past, must be significantly more selfless with a greater and significantly more courageous goal. Today of all days is a time for those few, those entrenched minority to think peace, NOT self. to unclench a corroding iron fist, discard the sword, pick up a peace pen and then finally after more than half a lifetime... shake hands.