Presidential communiqué issued after the attempt on the life of Paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño.


The Presidency of the Republic informs of the following:

1. In recent weeks, in addition to the known and reiterated threats to the President from ELN and FARC, threats have come from the self-defence and drug-trafficking sectors.

2. The Government offered a peace process to all irregular armed groups on the condition that they put an end to hostilities.

3. The peace process with illegal self-defence groups cannot advance while ceasefire violations, vendettas, drug-trafficking and clashes between criminal groups continue to take place.

4. If the self-defence forces wish to continue with a serious process, they must demonstrate their will for peace by accepting a concentration zone, with clear rules and under the supervision of the Organisation of American States. They must move towards demobilisation. If not, the Government will continue fighting them until they are annihilated.

5. The Government has presented to Congress a Justice and Reparations Bill, generous in its benefits and rigorous with respect to the Constitution and International Law, which prohibits granting a pardon or amnesty to those responsible for atrocities.

6. Extradition cannot be considered a rule of domestic law, generating nationalistic sentiments against its use. It is a rule of international law that allows other countries to punish those who commit offences against their nationals. If extradition were prohibited, Colombia would suffer the rigours of international discredit.

7. Extradition is non-negotiable. Those wishing to avoid it must demonstrate to the international community their good faith and intention to reform.

8. The Government understands the pain of those kidnapped by FARC and that of their families. The Government will continue with its democratic security policy, one of the principal results of which is the reduction of 25% in kidnappings last year and of 65% so far this year.

9. The Government will not allow threats from FARC to impose a Humanitarian Agreement with conditions that undermine the democratic security policy.

[Presidency of the Republic, Bogota, 27 April 2004]
Documentation Note: Unofficial translation from the Spanish original version by the Nizkor Team.

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small logoThis document has been published on 05May04 by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights