WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Colombia Peace Accords: Five Years Later

On November 24, 2016, the government of Colombia signed a historic peace accord with the largest guerrilla group in the country,  the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), bringing an end to the hemisphere’s longest-standing conflict. The accord provided a roadmap to peace focused on the underlying inequities at the roots of the conflict.  

Now, at the fifth anniversary of the accord, implementation is losing momentum.  Violence against social leaders and human rights defenders is rising to alarming levels, and key promises  of the accord centering on development in formerly conflicted areas, justice, and accountability remain unfulfilled.

WOLA is offering a series of analyses and events recapping our work to support the peace process over the past 5 years, and highlighting work of partners on the ground in Colombia. New reports, videos and podcasts will provide a comprehensive assessment of the peace implementation, an in-depth analysis of the region of Chocó and more.  We will underscore steps that need to be taken to renew the commitment to peace.

Below you will find a compilation of WOLA’s continuing work for peace in Colombia. This page will be updated with upcoming reports and content on the subject.

LISTEN

In the latest episode of the Latin America Today podcast, WOLA Director for the Andes Gimena Sánchez joins host Adam Isacson for a walk through which aspects of accord implementation are going well, and which are urgently not.

Listen to the episode here: Colombia’s peace accord at five years.

 

READ

A new report from the Washington Office on Latin America, “A Long Way to Go,” examines the experience of the past five years, presenting a wealth of data about each of the 2016 accord’s six chapters. While there are some positive developments, WOLA finds, Colombia is well behind where it should be.

Check back here for upcoming publications from our experts, including a report about Colombian civil society perspectives on peace implementation.

Urgent Actions:

On October 26, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held a follow-up hearing on the status of its July 7 recommendations to Colombia concerning the recent abuses that took place within the national strike protests earlier this year. Below you can find a summary of the hearing along with urgent actions that the Colombia program receives and documents.

 

LEARN MORE
Related WOLA commentaries:

 

WATCH
Protejan la paz en Colombia: La sociedad civil en el 5º aniversario de los acuerdos de paz

(Protect Colombia’s Peace: Civil Society Perspectives on the Fifth Anniversary of the Colombian Peace Accords. Webinar recording available in Spanish only.) 

The 2016 Peace Accord’s Implementation: A Webinar Series in Honor of the Accord’s 5th Anniversary

Starting in July 2021, WOLA’s Director for the Andes, Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, and human rights defender, Ofunshi Oba Koso, hosted a Spanish-language webinar series—in collaboration with grassroots media outlets and organizations throughout Colombia—to evaluate the accord’s implementation status. 

The panels explored numerous topics including: the manner in which the tripartite transitional justice system works to empower traditionally excluded ethnic communities; the need to address land reform from the approach of the accord’s transversal Ethnic Chapter; the importance of advancing the accord’s trailblazing gender provisions to protect women and LGBT+ persons; the connections between labor rights—particularly in the context of Colombia’s 2021 National Strike—and the accord’s faltering implementation; the unprecedented flow of migrants passing through the country amid compounding humanitarian crises; the misuse of funds designated to implement the peace accord; and many other topics that uncover issues and solutions that need to be brought to the international community’s attention to ensure the comprehensive implementation of Colombia’s peace accord. 

Watch the Spanish-language webinar series now on WOLA’s YouTube channel:

 

JOIN US

Social leaders in Colombia are targeted and murdered for working to build peace. More than 500 Colombian social leaders have lost their lives since 2016. However, without the work of social leaders in Afro-Colombian, Indigenous, and rural communities, peace in Colombia is not possible.

WOLA’s Con Líderes Hay Paz digital advocacy campaign was created to support the work and protect the lives of social leaders in Colombia advocating for lasting peace. Listen to the stories of four social leaders across Colombia each fighting for peace in their respective communities. Then, if you’d like to join our work, you can access guides and resources for activists, as well as policy recommendations which highlight actionable policies to protect peace in Colombia. Visit the link below to explore the campaign.

 

WOLA works to support the realization of an inclusive and sustainable peace by advocating for the rights of ethnic and rural populations, empowering social leaders building peace throughout the country, securing accountability for atrocities, and shifting U.S. policies to promote peace, human rights and justice.