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Sunday, December 4, 2016
Britain urged to support peace process in Colombia
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 The Bishop of Magangué, Mgr Leonardo Gómez Serna, is urging Britain to play a more active role in supporting the Colombian government's peace negotiations with its two guerrilla movements. He said: "I regret that the UK was not a member of either of the 'groups of friends' formed by international diplomats in Colombia to facilitate the dialogue between the government and the two guerrilla groups, the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and the ELN (National Liberation Army). "International diplomats played a key role in preventing a breakdown of the talks with the FARC in January and it is important that they maintain their involvement." Bishop Serna met yesterday with Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials to explain directly why Britain must get fully behind the peace initiative. The Bishop has direct experience of peace building in Colombia's thirty-seven year civil conflict. Mogotes, a town in his previous diocese, won a national peace prize for removing a corrupt mayor and expelling the guerrillas who had taken over the town. He said: "We want to start the same process now in Magangué. The two pillars are prayer and organisation. We have a slogan: We are creating a revolution with the Bible and the Constitution!" Mgr Gómez Serna is in London on his way back from talks with the ELN guerrillas in Cuba.
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