• During his state visit to Colombia, President Peña Nieto pointed out the fact that it earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • To build peace, one must also be brave, he said.
  • He welcomed the fact that this country has a president determined to advance the building of the consensuses that will end decades of armed conflict.
  • The Colombian president thanked Mexico for its support of the peace process in his country and highlighted its participation in the UN mission.

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto thanked his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos for, “his unshakable will to achieve peace” and also for having been internationally recognized by the Nobel Peace Prize.

In a joint press statement together with the President of Colombia, after a meeting at Palacio de Nariño, the Mexican president said that, “This constitutes recognition by the international community, which has conferred on you this important prize with broad international prestige, the Nobel Prize, for your unwavering struggle, permanent effort and strong political will to reach a peace agreement for Colombia”.

Afterwards, at the luncheon hosted in his honor and that of his wife, Angélica Rivera de Peña by President Juan Manuel Santos and his wife, Maria Clemencia Rodríguez, the Mexican president declared: “I join the international recognition of his statesmanship, during the negotiation of peace and after the plebiscite,” he said.

He said that just a few weeks ago in Cartagena, he attended the signing of the Peace Agreement together with other leaders and heads of state.

He declared that, “In order to build peace, one must also be brave. Great determination is required to leave behind the paths along which it was no longer possible to advance, to propose new routes and new agreements”.

He said that, “Although others could have been discouraged, after the plebiscite, you, Mr. President, made dialogue the cornerstone of the peace process.  I am sure that the hopes and will of all Colombians will permit harmony between voices, justice and dignity”.

He said that, “In this beautiful country, the presence of Mexican culture is very clear, in the same way as great Colombian artists and personalities have enriched our nation.  Of course there is the presence of the universal Colombian and the Nobel Literature laureate Gabriel García Márquez, who was also a promoter of peace throughout his life”.

A peace, he added in the press statement, “Which is lasting, and in which Mexico repeats its constant willingness to join you in this effort and in this task, and in this mission that you have formulated with great vision”.

 He welcomed the fact that this country has a president determined to advance the building of the consensuses that will end decades of armed conflict.

He congratulated the Colombian people because, “You have also given the hemisphere and the world a great lesson in the value of democracy. The plebiscite held after the peace agreement certainly proves the democratic development progress of our societies, and Colombia also stands as an example of a democratic country that respects the decision of the majority”.

He declared that Colombians, “Have also taught us that the future of a nation is built with participation, respect and tolerance”.

President Enrique Peña Nieto told the Colombian president of Mexico's support for this process, “That we join with solidarity and with full respect,” and announced that "Mexico will continue accompanying Colombia in this way, so that with the voice of all the political forces, it will build the roads to the lasting peace this great nation deserves”.

He noted that between Colombia and Mexico, “There is not only a relationship of friendship and fraternity. We are genuinely brother countries. And today, there are two presidents who recognize this affinity, but we have also built a personal relationship that undoubtedly contributes significantly to the fact that this vision shared by two governments can materialize, deepen and provide prosperity and development for our societies”.

He said his state visit to Colombia has been a great opportunity for the two countries to strengthen the broad and diverse relationship they already share. “Currently, there is virtually no area or sector where Colombians and Mexicans are not cooperating and exchanging information, experiences and best practices”, he said.

He said that the agreements signed today will further expand this cooperation, by finding new niches or strengthening existing ones.

MEXICO AND COLOMBIA PROPOSE IMPROVING PUBLIC SECURITY POLICIES

President Peña Nieto reported that during his meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos, they both discussed and recognized the enormous cooperation that exists, perhaps more than with any other country in the Latin American and Caribbean region, between Colombia and Mexico regarding security.

 "We have constant cooperation that is updated minute by minute to cope with the challenges facing the two countries in combating insecurity. And today we have been talking about extending this cooperation in order to more effectively combat organized crime,” he said.

He said that Colombia and Mexico, “Are two nations which, in the end, face very similar security problems. We have cartels operating in both countries transnationally;  and we have seen how institutional progress for combating organized crime has been outpaced by the criminal organizations in both countries”.

Therefore, he added, “We intend to deepen our collaboration and cooperation in security issue to enrich the public policies both governments have adopted to fight the cartels and to combat organized crime, which we acknowledge is a common problem”.

 He explained that it is a problem that also great similarities as regards its modus operandi and the market targeted by criminal organizations, both in Colombia and Mexico. That is why, he said: “We must deepen our collaboration”.

PRESIDENT JUAN MANUEL SANTOS THANKS MEXICAN PRESIDENT EPN FOR SUPPORTING THE PEACE PROCESS IN COLOMBIA

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos thanked Mexico for the support for the peace process in his country, as well as for its admission to the OECD, and stated that the nine instruments and mechanisms signed between the two countries are intended, “To deepen our relationship”.

Mexico and Colombia, said, “Have similar challenges in the fight against organized crime, which is an aspect we have been collaborating on. An inventory was drawn up of everything we have done together and everything we can do. We can do much more. And we took important decisions on this front. We will continue to cooperate in combating transnational crime and drug trafficking”.

He announced that over 6,500 members of the Mexican security forces have been trained in intelligence, anti-kidnapping, and anti-extortion; and from Mexico, he said, “We have also received a great deal of support and assistance”.

He mentioned, for example, that in education “Mexico is one of our main allies in terms of this key instrument for social mobility. It is the second academic destination of Colombian students”.

He also reported that in his meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto, they discussed the Pacific Alliance, “The most successful integration process in the history of Latin America. Mexico and Colombia have played a key role in this, and we agreed to continue deepening this integration and this process has been extremely important for both countries. Together with Peru and Chile, the four of us constitute the eighth largest world economy and we want to achieve this integration in the best possible way”.

He said that in almost two centuries of diplomatic relations between Mexico and Colombia, “Friendship has united us. First of all, we are united by many shared principles and values, many challenges that lie ahead and many actions that the two countries have achieved through our history: culture, literature, music, television, cinema”.

He recalled that in May of last year, he paid a state visit to Mexico. “There we had the opportunity to raise the relationship to the level of a strategic partnership. And within that association, we have issues that unite us a great deal: culture is one; education another; and then there is science, technology and innovation”.

Likewise, he said, “We also have a great relationship with Mexico in the economic sphere, as regards investment and trade. We are working on justice, security, defense and immigration. And we have discussed all these issues with the president. We also discussed the peace process here in Colombia”.

He explained that, in support of the peace process in his country, Mexico forms part of the UN special political mission and the Global Demining Initiative.

“I thanked him very much, because Mexico does not have a tradition of participating in these peace missions; it is the first time it has done so. And the president and the foreign minister told us that this is also the first time a Mexican woman has taken part in this kind of mission”.

NINE COOPERATION AGREEMENTS SIGNED

Before issuing a joint press statement, President Enrique Peña Nieto and his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos Calderón witnessed the signing of nine cooperation agreements, which reinforced the legal framework for issues such as regulatory improvements, consumer protection, culture, archeology, environment and sport.

The start of negotiations for a Bilateral Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance and Information Exchange in Customs Matters and a Memorandum of Understanding on Police Cooperation was also announced.

The following documents were signed between the two countries:

1). Memorandum of Understanding between Bancomext and BANCOLDEX to promote the flow of bilateral trade and investment.

 2). Memorandum of Understanding between PROFECO and the Colombian Superintendency of Industry and Commerce regarding Consumer Protection Policy.

3). Collaboration Agreement in the field of Physical Culture and Sport, between CONADE and the Colombian Administrative Department of Sport, Recreation, Physical Activity and Leisure Management.

4). Memorandum of Understanding between SEDATU and the Colombian National Land Agency on Technical Cooperation for the Implementation of Land Policy.

5). Cooperation Agreement between the Culture Secretariat and the Colombian Ministry of Culture (INAH - ICANH).

6). Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation between the Culture Secretariat and the Colombian Ministry of Culture.

7) Statement of Intent between the Mexican Communications and Transportation Secretariat, and the Colombian Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications to Reduce Theft of Mobile Devices.

8). Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Matters between SEMARNAT and the Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.

9). Memorandum of Understanding for Strengthening the Regulatory Improvement Policy between the Mexican Economy Secretariat and the Colombian National Planning Department.

At the start of the activities as part of his state visit to Colombia, President Enrique Peña Nieto visited the Quinta Bolivar Museum House, accompanied by his wife, Angélica Rivera de Peña.

On his arrival at the house inhabited by Simon Bolivar, he was received by Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Maria Angel Holguin, who accompanied him to lay a wreath next to a bust of the Liberator.

During the ceremony, the national anthems of Mexico and Colombia were sung and, at the end, President Enrique Pena Nieto signed the book of distinguished visitors and the director of the museum-house, Elvira Pinzón, provided a brief tour for the president and his wife, Angelica Rivera de Pena.

Later, in the Plaza de Armas of Palacio de Nariño, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos Calderón and his wife, Maria Clemencia Rodriguez Munera, led the welcome ceremony for the Mexican President and his wife.

At the ceremony, the national anthems of Mexico and Colombia were sung and President Enrique Peña Nieto reviewed a guard of honor together with his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos.

The two leaders then held a private meeting during which they reviewed the current state of bilateral relations and discussed matters of mutual interest such as the peace process in Colombia and regional issues.

President Enrique Peña Nieto and the Colombian president led an expanded meeting with their respective delegations, during which they reviewed the progress of the commitments resulting from the state visit of President Juan Manuel Santos to Mexico in May 2015, in areas such as trade and investment, productive linkages and cooperation on security and tourism.