WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
15 Sep 2015 | Video

Peace in Sight: the State of Colombia’s Peace Talks

Panel 1: The State of the Colombia-FARC Peace Talks
9:15-10:45 a.m.

Three years after talks began, violence levels have dropped and the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC) are negotiating some of the thorniest issues in the agenda: transitional justice and disarmament. Meanwhile the country is approaching local elections in which peace is a principal issue. Is an accord coming soon? What obstacles remain? What are some of the principal arguments of the dialogues’ opponents? Is the United States playing an appropriate role as talks proceed? How could the U.S. government play a more constructive role? If an accord is signed, how should the international community be prepared to respond?
Adam Isacson, Senior Associate for Regional Security Policy, WOLA
Ariel Ávila, Fundación Paz y Reconciliación
Juanita León, Founder and Director, La Silla Vacía
Marco Romero, Director, CODHES
Panel 2: Post-Conflict Challenges
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Most of the conflict’s victims are women, Afro-Colombian, or indigenous, but these groups are underrepresented among the negotiators in Havana. Colombia has a vibrant and well-organized civil society. How do the principal representatives of these sectors view the talks? What challenges will Colombia face in the demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants? Are its security forces prepared to adjust to new missions?

Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, Senior Associate for the Andes, WOLA

Leyner Palacios, victims’ leader and member of CONPA, Bojayá, Chocó
Javier Ciurlizza, Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, International Crisis Group
Aída Avella, Frente Amplio para la Paz

Closing Remarks 
12:30-1:00 p.m.
Dr. Marc Chernick, Director of the Center for Latin American Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science in the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Colombia appears to be nearing an end to its bitter internal armed conflict. After 50 years and a death toll approaching a quarter million, Colombia has its best chance in decades of securing peace. Peace talks with the FARC are in their third year.  The parties have reached tentative agreements on three agenda points—land, political participation, and illicit drugs—and are now discussing transitional justice and implementation of possible accords. As the talks continue in Havana, Cuba, the likelihood of a signed peace agreement is increasing.

WOLA has been monitoring these and other developments in the peace process since its inception in August 2012. To learn more about these historic talks, visit www.colombiapeace.org.