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.
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
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
Peace and Reconciliation Foundation
Director for Defense Oversight
Director for the Andes