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Press release , 05.03.2008 European Greens support International Day of Action for all victims of armed conflict in Colombia The Spokespersons of the European Green Party today expressed their wholehearted support for the international day of action on Thursday March 6th in honour of all the victims of violence in Colombia, including not only all the victims of the FARC Guerrilla but also of the violence perpetrated by paramilitary forces and agents of the Colombian state. EGP Co-Spokesperson Ulrike Lunacek said: "Marches and events are being held on March 6th in Colombia, and in many parts of the world, including several European cities, to show solidarity with all the victims of Colombia's armed conflict. One important difference between this international day of action and the rallies held in Colombia on 4th February is that this action will be in support of the rights of all the victims of violence in Colombia, including the terrible murders carried out by paramilitaries and agents of the state, and not just the victims of the FARC guerrilla. Marches are being held in several cities in Europe, including Brussels, Paris, Vienna, Cologne, Munich, Düsseldorf, London and Bristol. Greens will be taking part in several of these demonstrations and I will be speaking at the event in Vienna. Several Green MEPs will be taking part in the march in Brussels. We hope that all those who care about human rights will join the events planned for 6th March to show their solidarity with the organisers of the marches in Colombia, several of whom have received death threats from the paramilitary forces." EGP Co-Spokesperson Philippe Lamberts continued "The marches on March 6th will of course also be an opportunity to call for the immediate release of all hostages still being held, including Ingrid Betancourt, former Senator and Presidential Candidate and the leader of the Colombian Green Party ( Partido Verde-Oxigeno) , who has been held hostage by FARC since February 2002. It is particularly important to support these demonstrations now as they coincide with an extremely serious escalation of tension between Colombia and the neighbouring countries of Venezuela and Ecuador, following a completely illegal incursion by Colombian forces into Ecuadorian territory on 1st March which resulted in the deaths of 17 members of FARC, including Rául Reyes, FARC's second in command and their chief negotiator. We denounce this action by the Colombian government not only because it could potentially lead to war between Colombia and Ecuador and Venezuela but because it puts the lives of all those hostages still being held by FARC and potential international negotiators in even greater Press release danger. The action also means that Ingrid Betancourt, who is said to be suffering from Hepatitis B, is even less likely to receive the urgent medical attention she needs from Red Cross doctors. The Colombian government of President Alvaro Uribe has clearly shown that it is not interested in pursuing the humanitarian agreement being sought by the troika of France, Spain and Switzerland and that it is determined to achieve a military defeat of FARC. We deeply regret the fact that the EU has so far been silent regarding this situation and call on Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign Policy, to ensure that the EU does everything in its power to avoid further escalation of the situation in Colombia and facilitates negotiations to help bring about a political end to the armed conflict which has brought so much misery to the people of Colombia and its neighbouring countries. "
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