WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

18 Feb 2020 | Joint Statement

Amid Violence by Rebel Groups, International Civil Society Groups Call for Dialogue in Colombia

The signatory international civil society organizations call upon armed actors in Colombia to secure the lives of all communities and people living in the national territory, particularly in those places affected by the indefinite “armed strike” of the EPL (specifically, the Libardo Mora Toro Front), declared since February 12 in the Catatumbo region and the one declared by the National Liberation Army (ELN in Spanish) from February 14 to 17.

Colombia has chosen peace, and, with difficulty, is moving from a past of war to a future in which violence is not a means to deal with social, political, economic, and cultural differences. Leaders and civil society organizations work daily to realize these aspirations.

Colombia deserves to live in peace. Thus, we reiterate our call to the government of President Iván Duque, the ELN, and other armed groups to uphold the right of the Colombian people to live in peace, and to retake the path of dialogue as the most effective way to finally overcome the armed conflict in Colombia.

The Colombian state and armed actors are bound to observe and respect International Humanitarian Law (IHR) as an ethical and legal commitment to protect the individuals not directly associated to armed conflict.

As international civil society organizations, within the scope of our mandates, we remain committed to the construction of a comprehensive, just peace in Colombia. To that end, we will continue to work alongside victims, women, rural communities, people transitioning into civilian life, and other Colombian civil society organizations that contribute to peace.

Signatory organizations

Espacio de Cooperación para la Paz


ACT – Church of Sweden

Ask! – Swiss-Colombia Working Group

Broederlijk Delen


Christian Aid

Norwegian Solidarity Committee for Latin America


Fondo de Acción Urgente para América Latina y el Caribe


Forum Syd

International Action for Peace



Paz con Dignidad

Terre des Hommes Suisse