“There is no peace in the territories, but there is still hope” concluded the international verification mission that visited Colombia in November 2017 in order to assess the implementation of the Peace Agreement.
The Mission found that communities in rural Colombia find themselves once again in the midst of violent conflict. All those interviewed described the arrival of new illegal armed actors in the territories where the FARC-EP had previously exercised control. In the regions visited by the Mission, the situation has not seen improvements with the signing of the Peace Agreement; violence continues in these areas and in some circumstances has worsened. Although the Mission highlighted a reduction in the number of people killed for conflict-related reasons since the Peace Agreement, it also emphasised an alarming increase in killings of human rights defenders and social leaders throughout the country, and the inadequate protections provided for former combatants. As of October 20 2017, the assassination of 25 former combatants and 11 of their family members had been documented, with worrying implications for the sustainability of peace.
The Mission included the participation of 10 international experts on human rights, peace-building, and gender. In addition to visiting Bogotá, the Mission travelled to both urban and rural areas in Nariño , Valle del Cauca, Cauca , Chocó, and Urabá. For one week, members of the Mission met with communities, feminist and women’s organisations, Afro-descendent, small-scale farming and indigenous organisations, human rights organisations, local and national authorities, the diplomatic corps, international organisations, institutions created by the Peace Agreement, and former FARC-EP combatants who are current members of the FARC political party. Although the warnings given by the Mission are stark, the report also highlights the commitment of the communities to build a new Colombia. Peace will depend on the effectiveness of their protection.
Read the full report.
Read the executive summary.