WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

The Challenges to Peace in Arauca, Colombia

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. EST Friday, 7 January 2022

(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and El Espectador cordially invite you to a webinar:

The Challenges to Peace in Arauca, Colombia

Colombia began 2022 with clashes among illegal insurgents fighting in Arauca, a northeastern department located along the Colombia-Venezuela border. Initial reports indicate that the violence was a result of confrontations between the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) and dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC), who are opposed to the 2016 peace accord with the Colombian government. This renewed violence led to one of the most serious humanitarian situations in Arauca in recent years, with at least 23 deaths, displacements, and yet to be verified disappearances. While violence along the Colombia and Venezuela border among illegal groups is not new, the apparent breakdown of a non-aggression pact between the ELN guerrilla and dissidents of the FARC is extremely disturbing and potentially devastating for civilians in the region and for already strained relations between the governments of Colombia and Venezuela. The Colombian government has maintained its usual response—increasing militarization in the region—a strategy that has significantly failed to establish security and peace in Arauca for decades. Araucan civil society and the Catholic Church have marched and urged for a humanitarian solution to the region’s security issues and for renewed dialogue with the ELN. 

Join us for this webinar to hear from key voices from Araucan civil society and from experts about the realities on the ground as well as what they believe are the best steps forward to protect civilians and resolve the humanitarian situation.


Event Details: 
Friday, January 7, 2022
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST


Simultaneous interpretation between Spanish and English will be available, exclusively through Zoom.


Juan Carlos Villate
Community Spokesperson
Tame, Arauca

Sonia López
Joel Sierra Human Rights Foundation and Peoples’ Congress Central East Chapter

Guillermo Antonio Díaz Leonis
Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights – Arauca Chapter

Mayerly Briceño
Social Leader
Arauca Department

Lucho Celis
Peace and Reconciliation Foundation


Adam Isacson
Director for Defense Oversight


Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli
Director for the Andes