Carlos Alfonso Negret Mosquera, who as a defender of the people toured Colombia on the back of a mule advocating for human rights, wants to reach the Senate to defend the achievements of the agreement with the FARC because he is convinced that the country “deserves peace.”
Negret is one of the visible heads of the New Liberalism list, a party founded in the 1980s by Luis Carlos Galán, assassinated in 1989 by drug traffickers, and whose legal status was restored last August.
“I think the idea is to do something different and that’s why I agreed to be in the New Liberalism, which meant that they murdered a dream,” says Negret in an interview.
Although he is beginning to take steps in politics, Negret knows the country and its needs like few others and that is why he aspires to be elected senator on March 13, the day on which the members of the House of Representatives will also be chosen.
PEACE, HIS MAIN CONCERN
His political platform is based on continuing to advance in the implementation of the agreement with the FARC and in opening new spaces for dialogue with the dissidents and with the National Liberation Army (ELN), as long as they stop drug trafficking, kidnapping, and illegal mining.
“Colombia deserves peace and not war. Those of us who know the countryside know that peasants, Afro-descendants, and industrialists in the countryside need peace so as not to be subject to kidnapping and extortion,” he says.
This 59-year-old lawyer, who as in his four years as Ombudsman (2016-2020) reached the most remote parts of the country, assures that the signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC “was a milestone” because it was “a 50-year-old guerrilla and the ELN is aging us with 60 years.”
From his experience, he knows the risks of negotiating with the ELN, but he believes that the fundamental thing is the people.
“Of course, it’s risky, but at the negotiating table we have to tell the ELN to tell us who the drug traffickers are, what sectors of society are with drug traffickers,” he adds.
Without hesitation, Negret maintains that a “new law of submission” to justice should be sought for other illegal groups such as the FARC dissidents and the criminal gang of the Clan del Golfo and that his approach is based on his knowledge of the country. , from areas far from the large urban centers where he shared with the peasants.
“I know with the fear with which families sleep”, he assures and explains that without a peace process “there is no way” to have peace of mind in regions hit by violence, such as the Pacific, Bajo Cauca in Antioquia, the south of Córdoba, the triangle formed by the departments of Caquetá, Guaviare and Meta, Arauca or Catatumbo.
DIPLOMATIC ABILITY WITH VENEZUELA
Negret, who paid for his university studies working in different trades, considers that another point that Colombia must address is that of diplomatic relations with Venezuela.
“We know that on the other side there is an authoritarian president, almost a dictator, but we have to have (with Venezuela) diplomatic skills, like the French government did, like the German government did, like the American government did, to go and look for Vladimir Putin so that he would not invade Ukraine,” he says.
He adds that Colombia must have the ability to sit down and talk with Venezuela as he did to establish humanitarian corridors and prevent people on the border from falling prey to crime.
And it goes further: “I think we should work hand in hand with the Venezuelan government in what has to do with a humanitarian agreement for Norte de Santander and Arauca”, this last department has been hit hard lately by the war between the FARC dissidents. and the ELN for the control of drug trafficking and other illegal income.
If he reaches the Senate, Negret is clear about his positions on thorny issues such as abortion and euthanasia: “yes to both”, he says bluntly, although he clarifies that assisted death must be for catastrophic diseases and that medically they have no cure.
And another of his flags will be to advance in the protection of women victims of sexual violence, a problem that he saw closely in his visits to Colombian villages in his years as Ombudsman.