WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
17 Mar 2016 | Video

Is Peace in Colombia Feasible if it Excludes Afro-Colombians and Indigenous Communities?

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) are pleased to invite you to a conversation with Members of the Colombia’s Ethnic Commission for Peace and Defense of Territorial Rights
Thursday, March 17
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
1666 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009
For more information, please contact Sebastian Bernal at +1 (202) 797-2171.
Event will be livestreamed at www.wola.org
To RSVP please click here.
We hope you can join us.


Luis Evelis Andrade
Colombian Senator
Arelis Maria Urinan Guariyu
Councilor for Women, National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC)
Marino Cordoba
National Association for Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES) and Afro-Colombian Peace Council (CONPA)
Carlos Rosero
Black Communities’ Process (PCN) of Colombia and CONPA***

IIndigenous and Afro-Colombian persons make up a disproportionate number of the victims and displaced communities stemming from Colombia’s more than 50 years of internal armed conflict. Colombia contains 102 distinct indigenous ethnic groups and 25 percent of its total population is of African descent. Colombia’s Constitution and legal framework affords these ethnic groups differentiated rights, including special collective land rights. However, up until now the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who are negotiating peace in Cuba, have not engaged in dialogue with these groups’ local representatives about how to ensure that any eventual accords respect their rights.
While ethnic minorities have participated in victims’ delegations to Havana, there has been no dialogue on the issues that collectively affect all indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities as a whole. Because these areas are the hardest hit by conflict at the moment, and will be the most difficult in which to implement peace, it is essential that ethnic authorities and their leaders’ recommendations are heard, supported and implemented.
On March 8, the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) and the National Afro-Colombian Peace Council (CONPA) launched an Ethnic Commission for Peace and Defense of Territorial Rights made up of ethnic territorial authorities and long-standing civil rights organizations. Its purpose is to guarantee that the collective interests and rights of indigenous and Afro-Colombians are integrated into the peace process and post-conflict planning.
Come hear from members of the Ethnic Commission for Peace and Defense of Territorial Rights as they present their views on the peace process and the importance of guaranteeing a space for Afro-Colombians and indigenous communities in the transition to a post-conflict Colombia