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Colombia's Rebels vs. Government's Alliance with Paramilitaries

FARC and ELN leaders say President Uribe is "an enemy of the peace"
Colombia's two largest leftist organizations, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and the National Liberation Army, or ELN, rejected the government's proposal for peace talks in a joint statement during the weekend. Both armed groups said they would not negotiate with President Uribe as long as his administration continues to promote "fascist and militarist policies" to deal with the 39-year long internal conflict.

The document, prepared in country's mountains and posted on FARC's web site says that Alvaro Uribe is "enemy of the peace and responsible for Colombia's people impoverishment" and they would not accept his proposal for a cease-fire to reassume peace talks. Notwithstanding, both organizations praised peace for Colombia - a conflict that "sheds the blood of our people".

The FARC and the ELN support political alternatives to replace the US-pushed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), as well as active policies to bring "social justice" to the people living in poverty. Observers believe the statement may mean a hardening of the rebel position after Uribe's government offered amnesty to far-right paramilitary organizations if they collaborate in fighting insurgency.

After government's approach to paramilitaries, who have been held liable for large scale massacres against farmers and other civilian groups, different Human Rights organizations fiercely protested Uribe's bid, as the case was discussed by the Organization of American States. During his visit to Buenos Aires, Robert Goldman, Secretary General of the Inter-American Human Rights committee told PRAVDA.Ru the OAS would not support any peace talks to cover human rights violations.

"I've traveled to Colombia in July and discussed the issue with President Uribe", Goldman told  PRAVDA.Ru. "I told him that the Inter-American Human Rights Committee of the OAS accepts any peace negotiation carried on by the government, but would not admit something that could lead to the violation of essential civil rights". Then, Goldman reminded that massacres performed by paramilitaries are under OAS' study, as further ones can be denounced before its authorities. 

Blast kills five

On Sunday, shortly after the FARC and the ELN ruled out peace talks, an explosion in central Colombia left five people killed (including two children) and 38 injured. The bomb exploded at a busy waterfront.  The authorities blam leftist rebels for the terrorist attack.

The bombing took place about 10:00am at a dock in the town of Puerto Rico, just after a boat carrying 56 people moored at a dock on the Ariari River, Army General Luis Eduardo Barboza said. A woman was carrying the bomb inside a box, he said. She died in the blast. Two children also were among the dead.

He blamed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia for the bombing, saying the group "doesn't respect any parameters of human rights." He said the woman may have unwittingly brought the bomb to the dock. "It was horrendous. There are many body parts, not all the people could be identified. We're working to see if there are more than six dead," Munoz said.

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