Colombia

After 50 years of armed conflict, a peace accord between Colombia’s government and the country’s oldest rebel group is on the horizon. An end to the war would still leave Colombia with the massive task of reconciliation, considering more than 220,000 people have died and more than 6 million have been uprooted. The U.S. Institute of Peace has helped prepare the ground for a political solution with its decade of work in Colombia. Research and policy discussions stimulate fresh thinking on the conflict and on potential solutions, while grants and technical support build local capacity for mediation and conflict resolution. Learn more in USIP’s fact sheet on the Current Situation in Colombia.

Colombia: Human Rights Defenders Building Sustainable Peace

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 14:00
Thu, 02/18/2016 - 15:30

Despite widespread optimism that a peace agreement will soon be reached in Havana, the war in Colombia continues, marked by a rise in attacks on human rights defenders. The U.S. Institute of Peace and its co-sponsors held an event to hear four winners of last year’s National Prize for the Defense of Human Rights in Colombia discuss the challenges they and their fellow advocates face in their regions, and the role of human rights defenders in building sustainable peace in Colombia.

For the past four years, international humanitarian agencies working in Colombia have sponsored this competitive national prize to acknowledge the courageous work of individuals and of local and regional organizations that work to protect and promote human rights in the country. Four of last year’s five recipients were on hand for the discussion, courtesy of the Swedish humanitarian agency Diakonia, which has sponsored their visit to the U.S.

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Colombia’s Peace Process and Transitional Justice

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 08:30
Wed, 09/30/2015 - 17:00
Subtitle: 
Basta Ya! Report Illuminates Issues at Crux of Colombia’s Peace Talks Breakthrough

Colombia’s government and the FARC movement achieved their September 23 breakthrough in peace negotiations by setting down basic principles on the rights of victims to truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-repetition. USIP’s  Colombia Peace Forum, on September 30,  analyzed the role of historical memory in these transitional justice issues.

Read the event coverage, Colombia Considers War and Memory

As policymakers and analysts consider how the new breakthrough might be consolidated, Colombian researchers  presented a report, central to these issues, to a U.S. audience for the first time. The report—Basta Ya! Colombia: Memories of War and Dignity—was produced by Colombia’s National Center for Historical Memory. Its authors  joined other scholars and practitioners to examine lessons that might contribute to the creation of the national truth commission and other architectures as part of the peace process.

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The Colombian Peace Process, a discussion with Luis Eduardo Celis

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 13:00
Thu, 08/28/2014 - 14:30

This Colombia Peace Forum event will feature Luis Eduardo Celis Méndez, a Colombia journalist with several years of experience following the internal armed conflict and peacebuilding in Colombia. 

The event is webcast only.

Prospects for peace in Colombia are looking better than they have in years. If successful, the current peace process between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) begun in late 2012 and in its 27th round in Havana, Cuba, would put an end to a 50 year-long internal armed conflict that has taken the lives of some 220,000 Colombians, forcibly displaced 6 million more, and destroyed countless livelihoods. Exploratory talks with a second insurgent group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), are in an exploratory phase.

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The Peace Process in Colombia

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 10:00
Thu, 03/27/2014 - 11:30
Subtitle: 
Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies for the Protection of Human Rights

The U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a forum on human rights in Colombia. This session was held in coordination with the Latin America Working Group Education Fund and Peace Brigades International.

This event is part of a series of conversations known as the Colombia Peace Forum (CFP). The CPF, established following the launch of Colombia's peace process, brings together government, non-governmental, and diplomatic sectors to discuss themes related to peace and the internal armed conflict in Colombia, as well as related U.S. foreign policy issues.

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Colombia Peace Forum: Pending Issues on the Peace Agenda

Mon, 09/23/2013 - 13:00
Tue, 09/24/2013 - 16:30

Former and current USIP peace scholars, senior fellows, grantees, and affiliated experts working on Colombia discuss their research in the context of the agenda of the ongoing peace talks in Colombia.

Day 1:

  • Ending the Conflict: Armed Actors, Disarmament, Demobilization, and  Reintegration
  • Drugs, Violence, and the Agenda for Peace

Day 2:

  • From Victims to Citizens:  Memory, Justice, Human Rights, and Internal Displacement
  • Beyond the Peace Accords: Strengthening Infrastructures for Peace
  • Looking to the Future: Lessons For and From Peacebuilding in Colombia

The full agenda provides more detail.

In early September, peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) that began last October entered their 14th cycle in Havana, Cuba. The parties reached an agreement on rural agrarian development--the first item of an agreed agenda for the talks--in May. Discussions about political participation are now underway.

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States of Fragility and Global Violence: An OECD Report

Tue, 01/24/2017 - 09:30
Tue, 01/24/2017 - 11:30
Subtitle: 
Improving Policies by Better Measuring How Weak States Risk Falling into Crisis

This event has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Over 15 years, nearly half of all people, 3.34 billion, have suffered from political violence or lived under its shadow, notes a new OECD report. Violence is on the rise and, surprisingly, conflict is not the leading cause of death.  Fragile contexts, especially those where governments are ineffective and social contracts with their populations broken—drive much of this violence, plus refugee flight, pandemic diseases and other catastrophes. So understanding and measuring fragility is vital to U.S. and international policies that aim to prevent crises.  Join the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development for the Washington launch of an OECD report—States of Fragility 2016—that offers a new approach to monitoring the fragility of states at risk.

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Twenty-two percent of the global population now live in countries where human development is hampered by fragility and violence. On Tuesday, January 24, USIP, OECD, and other specialists will discuss OECD’s States of Fragility report, which presents a new approach for measuring the extent of fragility.

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U.S. National Security Chiefs Talk Leadership, Partners

The national security advisors to President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump stood shoulder-to-shoulder on a stage at the U.S. Institute of Peace yesterday and shook hands to a standing ovation at a two-day conference on foreign and national security policy. In speeches, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and her designated successor, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, struck a tone of cooperation on the transition between administrations. The conference, called “Passing the Baton,” included Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator Lindsey Graham and hundreds of incoming, outgoing and former officials as well as independent experts. 

USIP Staff

Discussions at the conference focused on laying foundations for a bipartisan foreign policy after an extraordinarily divisive election campaign. Rice and Flynn outlined what they said has been intensive work to ensure a smooth transition of national security functions with the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Trump. Rice said her office “has produced more than 100 memos” for Flynn’s incoming team.

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 15:25
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Gender and the Role of Women in Colombia's Peace Process

The promises and visions articulated in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent UN resolutions and position papers that recognize the connection between gender equity and women’s participation in all aspects of peace processes and peacebuilding on the one hand, and international peace and security on the other, have not been fulfilled. Nonetheless, these resolutions have opened the way for advocacy that has had some successes in specific contexts. Colombia offers one such case. 

Through desk research, literature review, and personal interviews, this paper provides an overview of the Colombian internal armed conflict and the peace process currently underway to transform it.1 It begins with an historical overview of the conflict, and then explores some of its gender dimensions. It analyzes the differential impact of the internal armed conflict on the lives of women and men, LBGTI persons, and boys, girls and adolescents, as well as the intersectionality between multiple components of identity, including gender, class, age, ethnicity, and region.

Virginia M. Bouvier
Thu, 11/03/2016 - 15:46
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Nobel Prize for Colombian President Highlights Resolve for Peace

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos reflects the recognition that achieving peace is a process that is never easy or simple and requires courage, determination, persistence and commitment over time. The U.S. Institute of Peace congratulates President Santos—and the Colombian people—on this award and on the difficult but continuing efforts to end a war that, over more than 50 years, has left more than 220,000 dead and close to 8 million victims, including more than 6 million people forcibly displaced.

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos reflects the recognition that achieving peace is a process that is never easy or simple and requires courage, determination, persistence and commitment over time. The U.S. Institute of Peace congratulates President Santos—and the Colombian people—on this award and on the difficult but continuing efforts to end a war that, over more than 50 years, has left more than 220,000 dead and close to 8 million victims, including more than 6 million people forcibly displaced.

Fri, 10/07/2016 - 13:32
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Diego Benitez

Diego
Benitez
Program Officer, Planning, Learning and Evaluation

Please submit all media inquiries to interviews@usip.org or call 202.429.3869.

For all other inquiries, please call 202.457.1700.

Diego is a program officer on the Planning, Learning and Evaluation team, where he works to coordinate grants for USIP’s IMPACT Colombia initiative focused on supporting local organization’s efforts to monitor and gauge program outcomes. He comes into this role with an extensive background in international management and development and over ten years of international field work. He has studied and worked in France, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Cuba, South Africa and China.

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Articles & Analysis

The national security advisors to President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump stood shoulder-to-shoulder on a stage at the U.S. Institute of Peace yesterday and shook hands to a...

By:
USIP Staff

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos reflects the recognition that achieving peace is a process that is never easy or simple and...

By:

Colombian voters yesterday defied projections by pollsters and rejected a peace accord that their government had negotiated during four years of talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of...

By:
USIP Staff

Videos & Webcasts

While Colombia’s government and the guerrilla group known as the FARC work on the final details of a comprehensive peace deal, one part of the proposed accord is already in effect: the commitment...

Women have played groundbreaking roles in Colombia’s peace process between the government and the country’s largest rebel group, the FARC. With a peace agreement in sight and on the occasion of...

Despite widespread optimism that a peace agreement will soon be reached in Havana, the war in Colombia continues, marked by a rise in attacks on human rights defenders. The U.S. Institute of Peace...

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Online Courses

Jeffrey Helsing

This dynamic course is a case-based introduction to the process of conflict analysis. Good conflict analysis is the foundation of any conflict management process, from prevention to mediation to reconciliation.

A nuanced understanding of the context and dynamics of a conflict can determine the effectiveness with which you intervene in a conflict, prevent further harm from being done, help determine priori

Publications

The promises and visions articulated in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent UN resolutions and position papers that recognize the connection between gender equity and women...
By:
USIP Staff
After more than 50 years, one of the world’s longest-running wars is close to being ended. Colombia’s government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) signed a peace...