Support for peacebuilding
Title: Support for Peacebuilding in Colombia
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union (EU)
Lead executing agency: Colombian Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC-Colombia)
Overall term: 2015 to 2021
The Colombian peace process can be considered an example of how dialogue and negotia-tions can resolve even long-lasting violent conflicts.
The peace agreement with Colombia’s revolutionary armed forces (Fuerzas Armadas Revo-lucionarias de Colombia, FARC) requested that Germany provide assistance in dealing with the violent past and the recognition of the rights of victims. Above all, therefore, partners in the field receive support in designing dialogue forums and the cooperation between governmental institutions and civil society. The aim here is to provide better support for victims and to involve civil society.
The peace process in Colombia faces major challenges. For example, the peace agreement’s complex implementation is proceeding steadily but slowly, not least because there is no robust political consensus. The institutions that were established for this purpose are fighting for recognition and sufficient funds. New and old armed groups are seeking to gain control over lucrative illicit business operations (coca production, gold mining). As a result, the violence against local peace activists, human rights defenders and demobilised former combatants is rising.
The programme’s work makes an important contribution to implementing Sustainable Devel-opment Goals 5 (Gender Equality) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) in the 2030 Agenda and to implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325/2000 on women, peace and security.
Colombia is implementing peacebuilding policies efficiently and in a participatory manner at national, regional and local level.
The ProPaz programme works in the regions Norte de Santander, Meta and Caquetá in five areas of activity:
1. Regional Peacebuilding.
Acting on behalf of ProPaz, the Como-Berghof consortium offers thematic and process-related advice to regional governments and civil society organisations. They assist on the formulation of territorial development initiatives as a contribution to the peace process. They also advise on joint processes to prevent violence and in the field of conflict transformation.
2. Criminal Justice and Historical Truth.
The programme supports the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition Commission, which were established through the peace agreement, in achieving criminal justice, establishing the historical truth and involving victims in these processes.
3. Search for Disappeared Persons.
Since the end of 2017, ProPaz has promoted the work of the recently constituted Special Unit for the Search of Persons Deemed as Missing, along with other state institutions and civil society organisations. It supports them in the search, identification and, in case of death, dignified delivery of the over 80,000 disappeared persons in Colombia (according to the Centre for Historical Memory).
4. Victim Compensation and Land Restitution.
The programme supports the coordination between the state and victim groups for a more efficient implementation of the reparation and restitution processes.
5. Strengthening the Capacities of Local Governments and Civil Society Organisations for Local and Regional Peacebuilding.
The programme implements measures in this field under a cofinancing arrangement with the European Union.
- 550,000 victims of the armed conflict benefit from more efficient state services – thanks to psychosocial support, more conscientious implementation of court decisions for returning stolen land and more efficient implementation of local plans for victim compensation.
- 60,000 people have access to 120 jointly developed remembrance sites for the victims of the armed conflict.
- Victims of sexual violence in the three project regions have submitted their reports to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace. These reports contribute to the reappraisal of 15,000 cases of sexual violence during the conflict.
- 10,500 young people and their teachers in Meta and Norte de Santander cover remembrance work during their lessons.
- 6,000 people have participated in more than 70 consultation processes promoting the involvement of victims and other population groups in political processes and dialogue forums.
- Local civil society and institutional stakeholders work in violence prevention, benefiting up to 10,000 people in five communities of Norte de Santander.
- 400 families have received information on the search for and documentation of disappeared family members through civil society and state organisations.