On 2 October the Colombian people surprisingly voted against a peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas. In response to this the peace movement gathered in Plaza Bolívar in the centre of the capital Bogotá, where they have been living in a tent camp ever since. Tom Koenigs, Special Envoy for the Colombian peace process, recently visited them.
The Envoy, accompanied by Dieter Lamlé, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Federal Foreign Office, and Michael Bock, German Ambassador to Colombia, arrived on Tuesday (1 November) at the so‑called “Campamento por la Paz”, which has been set up directly adjacent to the parliament and the presidential palace.
“Don't give up!”
Around midday the residents of the camp met their guests for an exchange of views on the peace process. The visit was intended to encourage the activists to continue their engagement for peace. Speaking to the Colombian media, Ambassador Bock said: “I believe everyone wants peace: both those who voted “Yes” and those who voted “No”. Those negotiating in Havana and the guerrilla fighters in the mountains. Don’t give up. I wish you all the best!”
Hoping for peace
In a message to the residents of the camp, Tom Koenigs stated: “I want to thank you for your campaign and your commitment! We wish you every success and hope that a peace agreement can soon come into force.” To round off the meeting the German visitors invited their Colombian hosts to a lunch featuring authentic German sausages.