Francisco Galindo Vélez (San Salvador, 1955), the person chosen to verify the meetings between the PSOE and Junts per Catalunya, is a Salvadoran diplomat who has been his country’s ambassador to France between 2010 and 2015 and Colombia, where he defended the signing of the peace agreements between the then Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, and the head of the FARC guerrilla, Timoleón Jiménez, alias Timochenko, in 2016.

Vélez, 68, has also been a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in France, Colombia, Mexico and Egypt. Likewise, he has served as Deputy Regional Representative of this organization in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba and Belize between 1987 and 2008.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Legal and Political Sciences and received a doctorate from the University Institute of Advanced International Studies in Geneva. She also earned a Master of Arts from New York University (NYU) and a Master’s from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston. She studied French Language and Civilization at the University of Geneva and Protocol from the Center for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies in Paris.

Vélez, who currently serves as consul of El Salvador in Bogotá, is a lawyer who went so far as to say that both in her country and abroad the “deed” of former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos was viewed with “a lot of respect and solidarity.” bring to a successful conclusion the peace process with the FARC guerrilla.

“President Santos risked everything for peace,” he highlighted in 2017 in an interview with the newspaper El Universal, where he recalled that El Salvador was present in the Colombian process, participating in the United Nations monitoring and verification mission in Colombia and the presence of the then Salvadoran president, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, during the signing of the peace in 2016, as well as that president’s trip to Havana, when the FARC was holding talks with Santos.

The verifier appointed by the PSOE and Junts staunchly defends the peace process that was carried out in El Salvador between the Government and the guerrilla of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), which put an end to the civil war that devastated the Central American country between 1980 and 1992. Subsequently, the five political guerrilla organizations that participated in the war against the military government of the time were formed into a legal party (FMLN) after the signing of the Peace Accords in 1992.

These Agreements, which have been reviled by the current Salvadoran president, Nayib Bukele, who has called them “false”, are for Galindo Vélez an example for the world because they managed to demobilize the “death squads and we lost the fear of democracy, which was not a tradition in the history of our country. Based on these agreements, Vélez stressed in the aforementioned interview that “there are no persecuted people or political prisoners,” although he acknowledged

that, although political peace has been achieved, “the great debt is social peace”, in reference to the high rates of violence by the gangs against which Bukele has started a ‘war’ with the arrest of 70,000 people since last year.

It is worth remembering that in El Salvador a General Amnesty Law was approved in 1993, to protect those involved in crimes during the civil war, although in July 2016, the Supreme Court of Justice declared that Law unconstitutional, which allowed the trial of those soldiers responsible for the massacre that occurred on November 16, 1989 of six Jesuits, five of them Spanish, including Ignacio Ellacuría.

One of Galindo’s most famous phrases was when he invited the poet David Escobar to participate in a conversation in Bogotá in 2017 about reconciliation in the post-conflict and he could not attend, so the writer asked him to represent him. “I remember telling him: David, I am not a poet, I am a diplomat and diplomats do not write poetry, we tell stories.”

For Galindo, the key to achieving peace in a conflict is “incorporating the entire population in an effort of national integration so that no one is left out.” In this sense, he defends that “each country has to find its way to achieve peace and reconciliation” to achieve “coexistence.”