WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Colombia’s New Citizen Movement for Peace: A Conversation with the Leaders of “Defendamos la Paz”

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Friday, 19 July 2019
U.S. Institute of Peace 2301 Constitution Ave, NW,Washington, DC

(Federico Rios Escobar/The New York Times)

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), the Latin America Working Group (LAWG), the Colombian Human Rights Committee (CHRC), the Center for Justice & International Law (CEJIL), and the Inter-American Dialogue invite you to the following event:

Colombia’s New Citizen Movement for Peace: A Conversation with the Leaders of “Defendamos la Paz”

Event Details:
Friday, July 19, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
U.S. Institute of Peace
2301 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC

During its rapid, five-month transformation from a social media group chat into a full-fledged citizen movement, Defendamos la Paz (DLP), or Let’s Defend Peace, has sought to rally political and popular support for the implementation of the FARC peace agreement and the continuation of suspended dialogues with the ELN.

In just a short amount of time, DLP has established itself as an important “umbrella” structure comprised of many key former government and rebel negotiators from both the FARC and ELN peace processes, members of the Congressional Peace Commissions, ex-ministers with diverse political affiliations, victims’ organizations, academics, retired military personnel, and media leaders. The movement has also established sub-national chapters with local civil society organizations throughout Colombia’s conflict-affected regions.

DLP is currently prioritizing the revival of the special electoral peace districts—a critical component of the 2016 peace accord that remains in limbo—by collecting one million signatures, strengthening the legitimacy of the transitional justice court (JEP), and encouraging creative measures to break the deadlock with the ELN.

On July 19, please join the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Washington Office on Latin America, the Latin America Working Group, the Colombian Human Rights Committee, the Center for Justice & International Law, and the Inter-American Dialogue for a public conversation with three prominent DLP leaders on their vision for this unique civil society platform.

Opening Remarks:

Lisa Haugaard
Executive Director, Latin America Working Group



Juan Fernando Cristo
Former Senator, Ambassador, and Minister of the Interior, Colombia

Laura Gil 
Columnist, Professor, and Editor of La Línea del Medio

Gonzalo Sanchez 
Professor and Former Director, National Center for Historical Memory



Steve Hege
Senior Expert, Colombia, U.S. Institute of Peace


Please RSVP at https://www.usip.org/events/colombias-new-citizen-movement-peace

The event will be live-streamed in Spanish with English audio uploaded after the event. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wor4-ccBznA