Following a meeting with Monseñor Héctor Fabio Henao Gaviria, the head of Caritas in Colombia, and representatives of the Caritas working group on Colombia, Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (23 May 2017):
I am deeply concerned by the reports coming out of Colombia on the increase in politically motivated acts of violence, especially in the areas worst hit by the conflict. There are obviously forces at work here trying to intimidate committed members of civil society and hinder the success of the peace process. However, if there is to be lasting peace in Colombia, the country needs an active and committed civil society. The Colombian Government has a responsibility to step up its efforts to halt this development and to protect its citizens from violent attacks. Germany is prepared to help Colombia master this challenging task in the fragile post‑conflict phase.