Practice relating to Rule 66. Non-Hostile Contacts between the Parties to the Conflict
According to the Report on the Practice of Colombia, government practice has been to express publicly its willingness to enter into a dialogue with opposing armed groups for humanitarian reasons or to start negotiations.
During the takeover of the embassy of the Dominican Republic by the M-19 in 1980, direct contacts were established through the mediation of the Red Cross and of one of the detained ambassadors. The hostages were ultimately released and the guerrillas were allowed to leave the country.
Likewise, during the takeover of the Palacio de Justicia in 1985, direct communications were established by phone between the leader of the armed opposition group and an officer of the national police, although without success. In the meantime, military operations were not suspended.
Colombia’s Soldiers’ Manual (1999) recognizes “the white flag, which means surrender, parlementaire, negotiation and spirit of conciliation”.