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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Colombia Peace Forum: Seeking Truth on the 'Disappeared'

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 10:00
Fri, 04/22/2016 - 12:00
Subtitle: 
How to Meet the Havana Talks’ Promise on Recovering Remains of Conflict Victims

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 by both sides to recover and return the remains of tens of thousands of “disappeared” people—those presumed to have been secretly killed in the conflict. USIP and the Latin America Working Group Education Fund held an event on April 22 for an early assessment of how implementation of the agreements on disappearances is proceeding.

With provisional agreements and mechanisms in place, implementing and verifying these measures on the ground often proves difficult. What are the challenges? What can civil society, the negotiating teams, and the international community do to ensure compliance with the agreements?

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Women and Peace: A Special Role in Violent Conflict

In Liberia, women, excluded from talks to end the country’s civil war, besieged negotiators until they signed a deal. In Guatemala, where insurgents and the government each had a female delegate in talks, pressure from women put indigenous, gender and labor rights into an accord. In Northern Ireland, women placed the needs of victims and political prisoners on the agenda after winning a role in peace negotiations. Wherever there’s an effort to settle violent conflict, women’s involvement improves the outcome, according to experts who took part in a recent discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Fred Strasser

Research shows that when women effectively influence a peace process, it’s more likely that an agreement will be reached, implemented and sustained, Norway’s ambassador to the U.S., Kåre Aas, said at the March 8 event to mark International Women’s Day. Norway is involved in negotiations to end conflicts in 20 countries including the Philippines, Nepal, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, he said. In every case, his government stresses the need to hear and adopt women’s views, he said.

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 11:12
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Women in the Peace Process: Making Peace Last in Colombia

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 09:30
Tue, 03/08/2016 - 11:00

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 International Women’s Day, the U.S. Institute of Peace held an event on March 8 that briefed on the status of women in peace processes, with a focus on the Colombia case. The discussion was co-sponsored by USIP’s Colombia Peace Forum and the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum.

Read the event coverage, Women and Peace: A Special Role in Violent Conflict.

The panelists discussed the United Nations Security Council Resolutions that have called for engaging women in peace processes as a matter of international security, and the long-term efforts to broaden and support initiatives by women and other sectors of civil society as the key to the sustainability of peace.

Continue the conversation on Twitter with #CPRF.

Participants

Nancy Lindborg
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Ambassador Kåre R. Aas
Ambassador of Norway to the United States

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Colombia Peace Forum

Short Description: 

Established with the peace talks in 2012, the USIP-based Colombia Peace Forum produces creative analysis of Colombia’s internal armed conflict and peace initiatives that informs the thinking of policymakers and opinion leaders in the United States and Colombia. The forum convenes academics, Colombia specialists, government officials and others to provide a platform where a variety of voices, including historically marginalized groups (human rights defenders, women, ethnic minorities, etc.), can be heard.

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Articles & Analysis

Colombia’s government and the country’s FARC-EP guerrillas are pressing ahead with peace talks at a pace that could yield a final agreement by the end of June. Having missed a self-imposed...

By:
Virginia M. Bouvier

In Liberia, women, excluded from talks to end the country’s civil war, besieged negotiators until they signed a deal. In Guatemala, where insurgents and the government each had a female delegate...

By:
Fred Strasser

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said his government and the country’s biggest guerrilla group likely will be able to sign a final peace accord close to their self-imposed deadline of March...

By:
Fred Strasser

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

By:
USIP Staff
After 50 years of armed conflict, a peace accord between Colombia’s government and the country’s oldest rebel group is on the horizon. Talks in Havana that President Juan Manuel Santos began with the...
In the midst of a political shift where power is moving from central institutions to smaller, more distributed units in the international system, the approaches to and methodologies for peacemaking...