.- The Archbishop of Bogota, Colombia, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Saenz, called on Colombians this week not to reject the gestures by 450 paramilitary soldiers who have begun to demobilize and lay down their arms in parts of the war-torn country. The Cardinal said that in the context of the reconciliation process and the search for peace taking place in Colombia, “the members of the illegal military organization ‘United Self Defense of Colombia’ are making a positive gesture towards Colombian society by demobilizing.”
In this sense, he added that with this decision, paramilitary members “are indicating that they not only want to repair the damage but also restore their dignity as Colombians.”
It is estimated some 450 paramilitary soldiers will lay down their weapons and formally demobilize in ceremony on Thursday in northern Colombia.
The gesture is taking place one year after the first disarmament by the United Self Defense of Colombia.
Several of the more than 800 paramilitary members who returned to civil life last year will be sharing their testimonies during the event.