US religious and social leader Jesse Jackson urged Colombia on Tuesday to end its almost half a century armed conflict through reconciliation.
Jackson was in the South American country to take part in a summit of Afro-descendant leaders held in the Caribbean port city of Cartagena.
“I promote reconciliation. I some cases, when you can’t pick one side or the other, one should be siding with reconciliation,” the reverend said during a speech.
“If and when there is war there will be fear. If and when there is fear, growth is detained and the poorest of people always will be the victims,” the civil rights activist said.
“There is no future in war. There is no economic growth in war. There is no investment in war.”
According to Jackson, “it’s better to be at a peace negotiations table than to be in a battlefield.”
The civil rights advocate compared the situation of Colombia to that of Germany after the second world war and South Africa after apartheid.
“In Africa, the colonized and the colonizers had to get together to come to a new day. Your pain is not the only one in the world. It is real and must be respected, but many of us had to go through this major pain to reach progress,” said Jackson.
The Colombian government, led by President Juan Manuel Santos, is currently in talks with rebel group FARC that has fought the state since 1964.