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.

Type of Event or Course: 
Countries: 

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.

Type of Event or Course: 
Countries: 

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.

Type of Event or Course: 
Countries: 

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.

Type of Event or Course: 
Countries: 
Issue Areas: 

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.

Type of Event or Course: 
Countries: 

The Current Situation in Colombia

After more than 50 years of armed conflict between leftist rebels and Colombia’s government, one of the world’s oldest insurgencies has come to an end. Under a peace accord signed by the two sides in August and subject to an Oct. 2 referendum, about 10,000 guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) will demobilize and the FARC will be allowed to enter electoral politics. The U.S., which invested about $10 billion in strengthening Colombian security forces to defeat the FARC and suppress its drug trafficking, has eagerly supported the peace deal. But translating a signed agreement into on-the-ground reality poses a massive challenge of national reconciliation.

But translating a signed agreement into on-the-ground reality poses a massive challenge of national reconciliation. The war has killed at least 220,000 people—with estimates ranging to twice that number. It has displaced more than 6 million and created 7.6 million registered victims. Preventing post-accord violence will require reintegrating ex-FARC combatants into civilian life, offering victims reparations and return of their lands, and addressing the socio-economic disparities and political exclusion at the root of the conflict.

Sat, 10/01/2016 - 08:29
Countries: 

The Accord: Colombia’s Commitment to Peace

As senior advisor for peace processes at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), an independent and bipartisan organization funded by the United States Congress, my work in the past decade has been dedicated to facilitating a political resolution to the armed conflict in Colombia. In this capacity, I have had the privilege of witnessing this process and multiple attempts to achieve peace. As a result, I recognize the significance, the challenges and the possibilities of this historic moment.

Colombia’s Peace Accord on the Missing (Spanish)

Las desapariciones forzadas son un legado de medio siglo de conflicto armado interno en Colombia.  Afectan a sectores pobres en el campo y en los centros urbanos, trabajadores, campesinos y campesinas, periodistas, defensores y defensoras de los derechos humanos, políticos de la oposición y lideres y lideresas afro-colombianos e indígenas.  Además, miembros de las fuerzas públicas y de la guerrilla han desaparecido en el contexto del conflicto armado colombiano.  Este informe analiza un acuerdo sobre los desaparecidos acordado en octubre 2015 entre el gobierno colombiano y las FARC-EP.  Si se cumple bien, el acuerdo ofrece la oportunidad de aliviar el sufrimiento y de ofrecer respuestas a los familiares de los desaparecidos y a toda la sociedad colombiana. English version also available.  

Resumen

  • Un nuevo acuerdo sobre los desaparecidos, firmado entre el gobierno colombiano y las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) en octubre de 2015, compromete a las partes a una serie de medidas humanitarias. Estas medidas deben generar confianza y cambios institucionales para aliviar el sufrimiento de las familias de quienes desaparecieron en el contexto del conflicto armado interno en Colombia.
Virginia M. Bouvier and Lisa Haugaard
Fri, 09/23/2016 - 10:19
Countries: 

Burns, Flournoy, Lindborg Press Urgency of Fragile States

Three former high-ranking officials in the State Department, the Pentagon and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) urged the next presidential administration to commit more attention and resources to preventing the kinds of violent conflicts that are roiling the Middle East and other regions today and spilling over into neighboring countries, Europe and the United States. Former Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy and USAID Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg said it would take discipline, focus and coordination to address the problem of “fragile states” before they erupt into further crises that take countless lives and cost exponentially more to resolve.

The three former officials today unveiled a joint report that outlines policy approaches and priority actions to address fragility, which they say lies “at the root of today’s global disorder, from chaos in the Arab world to the refugee crisis and from pandemic diseases to economic malaise.” More than 1 billion people and nearly half of the world’s poor live in fragile states such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Colombia, Myanmar, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and South Sudan, according

Viola Gienger
Mon, 09/12/2016 - 17:42
Type of Article: 

Articles & Analysis

There are landmark moments in the history of a nation that transcend borders and herald a new vision for the future. The signing of the peace accord in Colombia represents such a moment. If the...

By:
Virginia M. Bouvier

Three former high-ranking officials in the State Department, the Pentagon and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) urged the next presidential administration to commit more...

By:
Viola Gienger

Colombian rebel troops are heading to decommissioning centers and minors are set to leave guerrilla ranks on Sept. 10, as the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP)...

By:
Virginia M. Bouvier

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...

Learn More

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 more than 50 years of armed conflict between leftist rebels and Colombia’s government, one of the world’s oldest insurgencies has come to an end. Under a peace accord signed by the two sides in...
Las desapariciones forzadas son un legado de medio siglo de conflicto armado interno en Colombia.  Afectan a sectores pobres en el campo y en los centros urbanos, trabajadores, campesinos y...