First Steps Towards Peace in Colombia
This article is based upon the information that was available at the time of going to press.
On the 20th of May 1998, in Colombia, Herr and Frau Mauss were acquitted of all charges against them.
After an 18-month investigation by the Fiscal General de la Nación and the Procurador General – public prosecutor for, amongst other things, state and authority criminality, it was ruled that the couple had, at no time during their operations or stays in the country since 1984, violated any Colombian national laws.
It was further ruled that the imprisonment and nine-month pre-trial detention that began in November of 1996 had been illegal. It was established that this had been based upon the intrigues of the company Control Risks with the cooperation of the Columbian police authority – Gaula Medellin – which had manipulated prisoners, forcing them into making false statements against the couple. This falsified evidence was later rectified and declared illegal. Extract from acquittal judgement. [Link]
Between 1995 and their arrest in 1996, the couple were involved in a peace mission which was carried out in consultation with the German Chancellor’s Office.
The Federal Government confirmed this in a governmental declaration at the beginning of 1997 which was presented, along with a verbal note (Nota No.:022/97) via the German ambassador in Bogotá, to the Colombian government, the Fiscal General de la Nación and the General State Prosecutor of Antioquia, on the 23rd of January 1997.
See also letter, dated May 22 2001, to a Western government, written by the then Minister of State in the Chancellor’s Office and coordinator of the German intelligence services, Herr Bernd Schmidbauer, MdB [Link]
as well as:
the letter of appreciation, dated November 22 2005, sent to Werner Mauss by former Colombian President Ernesto Samper, who was in office at the time in question. [Link]
Guerrillas and Politicians Sign Agreement
WÜRZBURG/MAINZ, 15th July. Representatives of Colombia’s economic, political and social sectors have signed an agreement with the National Liberation Army (ELN). The agreement, signed in Mainz, is intended to pave the way for the introduction of a comprehensive peace process in a country that has seen 34 years of civil war.
The five-page agreement, signed on Wednesday after four days of talks, also proposes the formation of a national convention to work out proposals for a comprehensive peace and the democratisation of Colombian society.
The ELN has given assurances that it will not kidnap any children, pregnant women, or people over 65. It was not willing, however, to agree to an immediate surrender of its weapons. As a condition of their own renunciation of kidnapping, the ELN also demanded that the right-wing paramilitaries should desist from violence. The radical right-wing United Self-Defence Forces (AUC) has, in the meantime, also declared its readiness to begin peace talks. In a letter to the future Colombian president Andres Pastrana they presented a twelve-point plan.
Incumbent president Ernesto Samper has called the agreement negotiated with the ELN in Germany, “revolutionary”. President of the Colombian trade association Sabas Petrelt, said: “These are the first steps towards a peace agreement with the ELN“. He explained that the National Convention would have its first meeting on October 12th. The largest of the Colombian guerrilla organisations, the FARC, is also to be invited to contribute to the Convention.
Talks have been going on since Sunday at the Würzburg Carmelite convent of Himmelspforten under the auspices of the German and Colombian Conference