This past Monday at 1 am, unknown people arrived at the house of the president of the Communal Action Board of La Union, Alvino Rosero, and they assassinated him. The murder took place in area is one of the country's where the most illicit crops are planted, and this murder happens amid increases in plantation of coca leaf, the government pushing a program for crop substitution, and international concern the war on drugs. ¡PACIFISTA!
Thursday, March 30th- NOON - 1:30 pm -- A peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas was signed late last year, and implementation is already underway. But political and logistical roadblocks have already arisen – not to mention a shocking increase in the number of assassinations of human rights defenders and community leaders. And negotiations with the ELN guerrillas have just begun. Amazon Watch / CIEL Conference Room
1350 Connecticut Ave. NW #1100 Washington, DC. Information on speakers.
Kingston High School students who attended the recent 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates say the event will influence their endeavors going forward. Some of the 25 students who attended the summit in early February in Bogota, Colombia, spoke to the Kingston Board of Education at its meeting last week. Students said among the impressive aspects of the peace agreement is that it gives former fighters a future. The Daily Freeman
The European United Left – Nordic Green Left – European Parliamentary (GUE/NGL) Group in the European Parliament hosted an event on “Colombia after the Havana agreements: paving the road to peace.” The March 28 event looked at the challenges and difficulties in the implementation of the peace agreements with representatives from civil society, trade unions, political parties as well as a legal advisor to the FARC-EP Peace Delegation. New Europe
As he announced the new Secretary General of the Presidency, Alfonso Prada, President Juan Manuel Santos criticized the way in which the opposition party Democratic Center is using "misinformation" and produced a letter they are allegedly using in attempts to erode support for the US-sponsored Plan Paz Colombia. Caracol Radio
Precarious institutions and decades-long armed conflict have given rise to narco-trafficking, illegal mining, trafficking in persons and arms, all which threaten stability, security and the country’s transition to peace. For this reason, USAID’s Producers to Market Alliance (PMA) seeks to strengthen legal economies in these areas by increasing the competitiveness of licit producers and the value of licit products. PMA will improve the capacity of rural producers and enterprises to respond to the quality standards and volume requirements of licit markets in selected conflict-affected areas where success is key to advancing Colombia’s peace. ReliefWeb
"As virtual managers produce and publish stories online, they articulate identities, raise voices, and make visible their territories and populations. Such communication process allows marginalized communities and victims of war to narrate the world in their own terms, to document the cultural practices they do, and to actively participate in the construction of historical memory in Colombia." Andrés Lombana-Bermudez, Global Voices.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will deliver awards on Friday to four Colombians who contributed to the success of the peace talks with FARC. These include Colombia's chief negotiator Humberto de la Calle. The awards ceremony, which will take place at Georgetown University, where Clinton will deliver remarks on "the role women can play in international politics and peacebuilding efforts." RCN Radio
After two days of work between the National Government and the FARC-EP, in the framework of the Commission for Monitoring, Promotion, and Verification of the Implementation of the Peace Agreement (CSIVI Spanish acronym), the first 100 days of implementation were evaluated, difficulties were identified and decisions were taken in the following issues. FARC-EP.
In this sense, the peace agreement can be interpreted as an opportunity to transform the country, starting from the periphery. Our peace, the one made in Colombia, will be territorial or it will not be. Luis Fernando Múnera C., S.J. Dean of Political Sciences and International Relations, La Javeriana."El Espectador
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has met FARC's top leader Rodrigo Londoño to follow up on the implementation of the peace agreement between both sides. The Sunday meeting took place in the department of Bolivar. Santos said on Twitter they discussed crucial topics such as the disarmament process and the reincorporation of FARC guerrilla members into society. The Financial Express
100 days after the implementation of the peace agreement between the FARC-EP National Government, an expanded meeting of the Monitoring, Impulse, and Verification Commission (Csivi) will be held in Cartagena tasked with reviewing thoroughly the different points prioritized for implementation", the parties said in a joint statement. Milenio.com
During 2017 the Wounaans were forcibly displaced on two occasions. The first on February 12 in the protected zone of Santa Rosa de Guayacán (rural area of Buenaventura), when a group of armed men -- allegedly paramilitary, according to the community -- threatened them. On February 21 was the second time, when clashes between the army and ELN displaced members of the Chagpien Tordó (San Juan Litoral) reservation. The deplorable balance: at least 250 Indians are still crowded in the municipal head of Buenaventura, housed in the Center for Comprehensive Care for Youth (Caiju). The number of displaced people could be even higher, as more members are arriving every week. El Espectador
"FARC served every purpose: To cover corruption, to say that they were the stone in our shoe stopping us from overcoming backwardness and poverty, and thus justify excessive military expenditures (the highest in the continent) and which in great part ended up in the pockets of the military high command and officials of the defense portfolio; to install narco-paramilitary neoliberal presidents under the fallacy that killing guerrillas solved the country's problems; to keep the people deceived into believing that through war Colombia would arise towards development, for this and for the other, etc, etc, etc." Con la Oreja Roja
"As we begin to transform from guerrilla fighters into civilian women, I allowed myself to imagine what our life will be like in the medium term, once our project consolidates. Whatever direction we take, I'm sure that we will definitely not be exchanging our guns for brooms." Sarah Luna Nariño, FARC-EP. Farianas
The 2016 report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia warns of the restrictions, gaps and ambiguities of the Amnesty Law and of the JEP regarding public officials. It calls for recognition of state crimes. Colombia Plural
According to these new polls, accusations of corruption have stuck against president Juan Manuel Santos: 66% of Colombian voters have an unfavorable view of him. And 51% think he is corrupt. Colombia Peace Report
If corruption is not eradicated to level the political playing field, the systemically flawed democratic process will destroy any prospects of a lasting peace. Even though some 6,000 guerrilla members have already demobilized as part of the implementation of the peace treaty, several members are defecting and hedging their position by staying in place while the process evolves. Some of these are FARC elements involved in illegal economic activity that could easily morph into drug-financed non-state actors. They include the Daniel Aldana mobile column and the Teófilo Forero column as well as Front 48 and Front 57. Fair Observer
This is crucial because in their current form, the new provisions in the transitional justice law are a slap in the conflict’s victims’ faces. They violate both the spirit and the intent of the peace accord—especially a part of the accord that took 19 long months to negotiate. If for some reason the Constitutional Court fails to bring Colombia’s transitional justice system in line with international standards and the spirit of the accords, WOLA will urge the International Criminal Court to act. WOLA
From Cali, African-American actor Danny Glover has called for Colombia's peace process to continue. The renowned actor and director was at Icesi University Thursday, where he spoke with EL TIEMPO, stressing that "the country must turn the page." "Anyone who wants to defend war has something wrong with their humanity, and I am sure that the majority of Colombians, whether direct victims of the conflict or not, prefer peace than war. As Gandhi said: 'An eye for an eye and the world will go blind'". El Tiempo
National Army commander General Alberto Jose Mejia has every reason to avoid pesky reporters and their irritating questions. He is possibly the most criticized public official in Colombia after President Juan Manuel Santos as in some areas the country’s largest terrorist group embarrassingly proved better at maintaining public security than the security forces. Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports
From Pondores, in La Guajira, guerrilla leader Iván Márquez announced that the peace monitoring mechanism that includes FARC, the UN and the Government are in discussions to determine the protocol they will implement for the destruction of explosives and other such materials still in hands of the guerrilla group. Two containers were installed at Pondores, and once 100 percent of the works are completed, the guerrillas will be willing to settle and begin the process of laying down their weapons and reinsertment into civil life. Caracol Radio
This article presents an action research process which opened up dialogues about power, citizenship and agency among social activists and peacebuilding groups in the violent context of urban Buenaventura, Colombia. Peacebuilding
Sympathizers of the procedures to finalize the conflicto of Colombia will hold in April the Peace Congress in which ideas will be presented to boost the implementation of the pacts signed with the FARC-EP, confirmed today its organizers. Social and political sectors supporters of the pacifying process define the details of the national gathering conceived with the aim of creating alliances and sketch actions that support the carrying out of all that was agreed by both the Government and the guerrilla. Prensa Latina
The former presidents of Uruguay and Spain, José Mujica and Felipe González, respectively, will be appointed next Thursday, March 30, as notables of the International Verification Component of the peace agreement. These notables, as described in the final agreement with the FARC, are chosen by the National Government and the FARC. El Espectador
A baby boom has swept the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, as the leftist rebel group has embarked on a historic peace process with the government. Dozens of babies have been born to guerrilla parents since peace talks opened in 2012. At the camps where the rebels are currently disarming under a peace deal signed in November, guerrillas in combat fatigues can be seen bouncing young children on their laps.
"Having a baby here is like being born again," said Rodriguez, who joined the FARC at just nine years old, after a right-wing paramilitary unit killed his grandfather. Ramirez, the expectant mother, is more cautious about what comes next. But she can't help imagining a new life. Yahoo News
"Our firm resistance to acts and strategies of such criminal level has remained unbroken throughout these 20 years -- even if we've seen over 300 brothers, sisters and neighbors, our resistance has been our companion and we continue to be supported by people and communities from different countries of the world that are governed by ethical principles that seem incompatible with the iniquity of our State. We will be eternally grateful to them". El Tiempo
The longing for peace is concentrated in Colombia's middle and lower classes, because the upper class already has peace and harmony, they never take up arms or fight a war, never feel hungry (perhaps hunger for corruption or the famous ambition) never suffer from the poor treatment from health providers, never stand in long lines to claim a family allowance or to claim free groceries in election campaigns. The average Colombian longs for peace in their daily lives, in their daily hustle to feed their children, find scholarships or educational subsidies for them, earn a meager minimum wage, seek a better position for themselves and for their families. Las 2 Orillas
I was a peasant. I lived with my parents and 6 brothers in the field in Vereda El Narciso, some 3 hours by bus in the municipality of Urrao, Antioquia. Like many peasants, we barely survived with what we raised. [...] Rumors had it armed groups had arrived who were murdering and expelling peasants and this was creating terror and that many had left, leaving all their goods and dreams behind. In 2001 they arrived where I lived, threatening people they branded as guerrilla collaborators, they took my older brother by force, and so far I have never heard from him. [...] Today I am part of the group of peace pedagogy of the 57 front and I know that I am closer to achieving my dream of being a teacher. Farianas
It’s likely that the intuitive and notorious lack of trust towards other people and towards the political system is also one of the main reasons the peace agreement with the FARC was rejected last year. And even though the peace deal was saved and is currently being implemented, it doesn’t change the fact that a large part of the population continues to distrust the FARC (and its future legal political party for that matter). Not only that, but they also distrust the government and any of the other state institutions in charge of guaranteeing the fulfillment of what has been agreed to in Havana. [...] Veronika Hoelker and Julia Lledín. The Bogotá Post
Hundreds of Colombian villagers have been killed or driven from their homes despite the recent peace deal between the government and rebels, according to a new report by Amnesty International. [...] "Hundreds of thousands of people across the country have yet to see any difference in their lives since the peace accords were signed." The report says violence in the cities, unexploded mines and bombs, and restrictions on freedom of movement mean there is still "a long way to go in Colombia." Voice of America
As a contribution to peace in Colombia and as a tool to generate jobs, Paz Wear was created almost three years ago. It's the first brand of Colombian clothing designed and manufactured by demobilized guerrilla groups and victims and people displaced by the armed conflict. At present, Paz Wear has 35 stores in the country, and generates some 1000 jobs in the cities of Ibagué and Soacha, where are their garment workshops are located. El Colombiano
Timochenko, said that in coming days 60 delegates will leave the transitional camps and begin to establish relations with people and political forces. [...] Timochenko also said that an additional 10 people will be involved in the same areas. The signed peace agreement states that FARC must submit the list of the 60 people to the government. They will not be able to wear uniforms or carry weapons. Caracol Radio
The disarmament of 7,300 FARC guerrillas began on March 1. Registration of the weapons will be first step in this process, which as agreed in Cuba must end with the melting of the weapons and the building of three monuments. Government and FARC agreed not to give out data on weapons's serial number of the weapons. This means that their origin and how they entered the country will remain unknown.El Colombiano
Other than standing in full support for the Peace Process, the Colombia Peace Report is an independent aggregation news site published in New York City. We gather materials in several languages (our headlines and blurbs will be in English linking to the original language) covering the multiple facets of this seemingly impossible and highly complex process in a nation of 65 million people where generation after generation have resolved their personal, social and political differences through violence. And life has had no value. We invite you to send us information via email.