During its rapid, five-month transformation from a social media group chat into a full-fledged citizen movement, Defendamos la Paz (DLP), or Let’s Defend Peace, has sought to rally political and popular support for the implementation of the FARC peace agreement and the continuation of suspended dialogues with the ELN. 

In just a short amount of time, DLP has established itself as an important “umbrella” structure comprised of many key former government and rebel negotiators from both the FARC and ELN peace processes, members of the Congressional Peace Commissions, ex-ministers with diverse political affiliations, victims’ organizations, academics, retired military personnel, and media leaders. The movement has also established sub-national chapters with local civil society organizations throughout Colombia’s conflict-affected regions. 
 
DLP is currently prioritizing the revival of the special electoral peace districts—a critical component of the 2016 peace accord that remains in limbo—by collecting one million signatures, strengthening the legitimacy of the transitional justice court (the JEP), and encouraging creative measures to break the deadlock with the ELN.
 
On July 19, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Washington Office on Latin America, the Latin America Working Group, the Colombian Human Rights Committee, the Center for Justice & International Law, and the Inter-American Dialogue hosted a public conversation with three prominent DLP leaders on their vision for this unique civil society platform. Take part in the conversation on Twitter with #ColombiaPeaceForum and #DefendamosLaPaz.

Speakers

Lisa Haugaard, opening remarks 
Executive Director, Latin America Working Group

Juan Fernando Cristo 
Former Senator, Ambassador, and Minister of the Interior, Colombia

Laura Gil 
Columnist, Professor, and Editor of La Línea del Medio

Luis Gilberto Murillo 
Former Governor of Chocó & Minister of the Environment

Steve Hege, moderator
Senior Expert, Colombia, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

Mapping Haiti’s Road Toward Justice: Lessons from Colombia and Guatemala

Mapping Haiti’s Road Toward Justice: Lessons from Colombia and Guatemala

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Haiti’s new interim government faces immense challenges, but none are as urgent as breaking the stranglehold that gangs have over the country’s capital, Port au Prince. Force alone will not bring peace, even with the arrival of the modestly-sized and Kenyan-led multinational security support mission. The country instead requires creative, whole-of-society — not just whole-of-government — mechanisms to divert gang members from crime and violence as part of a comprehensive counter-gang strategy.

Type: Analysis

Justice, Security & Rule of LawReconciliation

China-Colombia Relations are Growing, if Slowly

China-Colombia Relations are Growing, if Slowly

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s visit to Beijing in October amounted to a notable — if quite small — step forward for China and Colombia, building on growing trade and other ties, while also laying the groundwork for cooperation on issues, such as media and security, which China has promoted across the region.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

La guerra entre Israel y Hamas divide a América Latina a través de líneas partidistas

La guerra entre Israel y Hamas divide a América Latina a través de líneas partidistas

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

A medida que aumentan las bajas civiles en el conflicto entre Israel y Hamás, muchos líderes latinoamericanos están intensificando sus críticas al gobierno israelí. Bolivia recientemente se convirtió en el primer país en romper relaciones con Israel; Chile, Colombia y Honduras llamaron a sus embajadores para consultas; y diplomáticos de Argentina, Brasil y México han condenado a Israel por su violencia, exigiendo un cese inmediato de las hostilidades.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

Israel-Hamas War Divides Latin America Along Partisan Lines

Israel-Hamas War Divides Latin America Along Partisan Lines

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

As casualties mount in the Israel-Hamas conflict, many Latin American leaders are intensifying their criticism of the Israeli government. Bolivia recently became the first country to sever ties with Israel; Chile, Colombia and Honduras recalled their ambassadors for consultations; and diplomats from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico have blasted Israel for the bloodshed, calling for an immediate end to hostilities.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

View All Publications