By Enrique Peña Nieto.

Published in El Tiempo de Colombia

Nearly two centuries ago, Simon Bolívar announced that Colombia and Mexico were destined to appear to the world “joined by the hand and heart” because “ever since eternity, Nature gave us a single essence so that we should be brothers rather than foreigners”. Echoing these valuable words, I begin my state visit to the Colombia, at the invitation of President Juan Manuel Santos.

My visit is part of a broad dialogue that seeks to agree the steps to be followed in building a stable, lasting peace. In this process, Mexico reaffirms its commitment to the efforts to achieve an effective, definitive end to the longest armed conflict in Latin America and the Caribbean, with full respect for Colombians’ wishes.

I am convinced that the people of Colombia will reach a peace agreement that reflects the will of the majority. You should know that you have the support of Mexicans to strengthen democracy, development and social inclusion. In this regard, I repeat my country's support of the demining process and the special political observation mission.

Colombia and Mexico have a close friendship dating back almost two hundred years. Thanks to the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood that distinguishes our nations, in 2015, we signed the “Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of the strategic relationship” with the aim of institutionalizing our ties at the highest level.

Today, the bilateral relationship is characterized by a close dialogue, which has deepened cooperation in all fields and strengthened our key partnership. I am convinced that our relationship will continue to be strengthened and demonstrate the brotherhood that unites us, for the benefit of our peoples.

I reiterate my acknowledgment of President Santos for his leadership and commitment to peace in Colombia, which have already earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. To paraphrase the great writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez -another great promoter of this peace process-, today, history demands a new utopia of life, where no one makes decisions for others, even regarding the way they will die, where love is true and happiness is possible; in response to oppression and neglect, both Colombia and Mexico will always opt for life.

Peace in Colombia is a triumph for humanity, because the definitive end of this conflict, which has lasted over five decades, contributes to peace and prosperity in Latin America and the rest of the world. Mexico is convinced that Colombians will manage to banish the shadow of violence of the past and build a new future under the principle of national reconciliation. Peace is near, and Colombia has the support and solidarity of the Mexican people.