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Mexicans work for peace in Colombia

A group of 29 Mexicans works with the FARC and the government of Bogotá
Photo: Héctor Fabio Zamora/EL TIEMPO
José Meléndez / corresponsal
Florencia, Colombia
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María Félix, Lucha Villa, Lola Beltrán, Lucha Reyes, Paquita la del Barrio, Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante, Luis Aguilar, Javier Solís, Agustín Lara, José Alfredo Jiménez, Pedro Vargas, Antonio Aguilar, Juan Gabriel, Vicente Fernández and Cuco Sánchez are the most famous Mexicans in slums, jungles, mountains, and villages of Colombia.

26 soldiers and 3 civilians face multiple challenges by helping on the construction of peace in Colombia after 52 years at war.

“For us, it is a great responsibility coming in representation of Mexico and participating in such important peace process,” says Colonel Ramón Guardado Sánchez, head of the regional headquarters in Caquetá, located about 340 miles to the south of Bogotá.

“The Colombian people have been very receptive to the presence of Mexico,” explained Colonel Guardado to EL UNIVERSAL, in one of the most “problematic” regions, considering its history as one of the main war arenas.

A diversity of tasks

Among the 26 soldiers, there is one who demines fields, a task that the government of Colombia performs in collaboration with Mexico, the Organization of American States (OEA) and International institutions.

The other 25 soldiers and 3 civilians are part of the 448 military and police observers who work in the “political mission” of the United Nations Security Council in the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism of the peace treaty, integrated, in total, by 150 civilians.

The official count of the armed conflict is 8.068.272 victims who include 225 thousand deaths, 45 thousand disappeared, more than 6,4 millions displaced persons and numerous cases of terrorism, kidnapping, tortures, loss of proprieties and abandonment or expulsion from lands.

The team of military and police observers is composed of 94 Argentinians, 69 Chileans, 52 Bolivians, 41 Salvadorans, 37 Paraguayans, 25 Mexicans, 21 Uruguayans, 19 Guatemalans, 18 Spaniards, 15 Hondurans, 13 Portuguese, 13 Dominicans, 11 Cubans, 7 Swedes, 3 Costa Ricans, 3 British, 3 Norwegians, 2 Canadians and 3 Russians. The head is Argentinian Javier Pérez, General of the Brigade.


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