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Understanding the Peace Process in Colombia

What is the peace process? 

For decades, Colombia's armed conflict has pitted government and right-wing paramilitary groups against anti-government guerrillas.

All these groups have committed human rights abuses and wreaked havoc on communities throughout Colombia. Over the course of the conflict, 260,000 people have died, 25,000 people have been forcibly disappeared, and 5.7 million have been displaced from their homes.

After many previous attempts at negotiating a lasting peace, the Colombian government and FARC finally reached an agreement in 2016. Now, it’s time for that peace agreement to be implemented.

What does it involve?

The peace agreement focuses on reintegrating FARC members into society, getting FARC to demobilize from its camps and disarm, and pursuing justice and reparations for survivors of human rights violations.

How's it going so far?

Though FARC has been participating in disarmament, many other issues plague the peace process. Some former FARC members splintered off from the group and are now leading new guerilla groups and recruiting child soldiers. Right-wing paramilitary groups are moving into new territories, continuing to commit human rights abuses, and persecuting human rights defenders. Afro-Colombian and Indigenous people have been particularly targeted by these paramilitary groups.

And though the peace agreement features provisions protecting and furthering the collective rights of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Peoples, these groups are nonetheless being regularly excluded from the implementation process. This places their safety and survival as Peoples at risk. 

With our on-the-ground partners, MADRE will demand that the peace process respond to the needs of survivors and uphold the leadership of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities.

September 22, 2017  / Colombia