Posted on March 15, 2017 7:45 am
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Categories: Reintegration

El Avispero: the Civil Society Network Promoting Peace in Colombia; New Wave of Activism (E)

13 March 2017: The promise of peace has led to many changes within Colombian society. The most recent is the increased activism of young people, who through technology are promoting local change and peacebuilding, says Lina Maria Jaramillo.

The promise of peace has caused a lot of changes in Colombian civil society. After the defeat suffered by peace promoters in the 2016 referendum, Colombia appears to be facing a wave of citizen mobilisation from a civil society historically understood as an apathetic one.

This awakening, mainly in younger generations, has marked a clear distance between the changes that society is demanding, and the way politicians have traditionally acted. This generation feels as though they are living a new paradigm of political participation boosted by social networks and connectivity.

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Despite this remarkable success, organisers of this peacebuilding initiative are aware of the challenges that lie ahead. El Avispero has grown in number and outreach in a short time, focusing on initiatives implemented by local communities. El Avispero must work on a trial and error basis, building strong alliances with relevant actors and taking account not just of specific results, but also the learning process.

The Turner Award of Social transformation is a milestone in the short life of El Avispero. Now recognised as a real initiative promoting sustainable peace, they have prioritised three major topics in which they will work according to the interests of the citizens involved in the movement. Addressing corruption, promoting the sustainable development goals and pursuing peacebuilding have been identified as the strategic issues they will support through different campaigns and projects.

For El Avispero, working on peacebuilding means demonstrating that it is possible to build a collective feeling around social transformation and being part of something. This is one of the missing spaces of citizen mobilisation that El Avispero tries to fulfil, the space where the dreamers and the doers may find their home to change the world. ReliefWeb