A tribute to the Truth Commissioner’s life and work, upon her death from COVID-19.
Leaders pay tribute to the memory of the Truth Commissioner who passed away on August 7.
The conflict’s impact on land rights in the Caribbean region, especially on Afro-descendant populations.
A book presentation about the environmental and cultural impacts of precious-metals mining on communities in Chocó.
Four years after the signing of the peace accord between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a new era of conflict plagues the Pacific department of Chocó. Illegal armed groups continue to viciously contest territorial control, inflicting violence and forcibly displacing Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities. The groups are interested in controlling this biodiverse area rich in minerals including gold. Artisanal mining by Afro-Colombians is a practice started since the time enslaved Africans were exploited and forced to work the mines. This practice takes into account Afro-descendants’ cosmology of environmental preservation and sustainable practices.
In their new book The Price of Gold, Steve Cagan and Mary Kelsey describe how these practices were changed once mechanized mining was introduced to Chocó. While traditional panning for gold minimally affects rivers and forests, mechanized machines and the use of toxic chemicals are creating grave environmental, health, and social damage. In their book, Cagan and Kelsey present an in-depth view of Afro-Colombians’ ancestral mining process and how this cultural practice was integrated into their daily lives. They discuss the impact that widespread mechanized mining is having in these communities and offer testimonials of persons who are fighting for the rights of these communities and the environment.
On Monday, August 3 please join us for a presentation by Steve Cagan and Mary Kelsey about their book The Price of Gold: The Cost of Mechanized Mining in Chocó, Colombia. The event will be moderated by WOLA Director for the Andes Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli.
Monday, August 3, 2020
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT
Steve Cagan has been working closely with the Catholic Diocese of Quibdó, federations of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities, and Colombian and international NGOs in Chocó, Colombia since 2003. His photographs and writing on issues facing the communities there have been exhibited and widely used in publications on social and environmental consequences of gold mining on four continents. Since the mid-1970s, he has been practicing what he prefers to call activist photography. He’s most concerned with exploring strength and dignity in everyday struggles of grassroots people resisting pressures and problems.
Mary Kelsey has exhibited paintings in New York and other cities, and published drawings and paintings with academic, environmental and other organizations in the United States, Honduras, Guatemala, and Colombia. Her art addresses the interface of cultural and natural systems. She was awarded a Fulbright research grant in Costa Rica for her project, “Drawings and photographs: communities, rain forest conservation and sustainable development,” and subsequently returned as a USIA cultural advisor to Honduras, where she worked with teachers and local artists to create the first illustrated school primer in the Miskito language.
Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli is the Director for the Andes at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), where she advocates for the human and territorial rights of Colombia’s Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, among others. She fell in love with Colombia due to the abundant natural beauty of the Pacific region in 1999. Since then, she’s worked in partnership with ethnic activists to advance peace, protect their rights and preserve their biodiverse areas.
The event will be conducted in English, with Spanish translation available.
A discussion of the conflict’s impact on Afro-descendant families in Colombia.
A discussion of how the armed conflict has affected Afro-descendant communities in Colombia’s eastern plains.
We’re pleased to share video of last Tuesday’s two-panel discussion of the state of Colombia’s peace accord implementation. The first panel presents the principal findings of the fourth comprehensive report on the peace accord by Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. The second includes insights from experts on women’s rights, gender, and LGBT+ provisions.
This video does not include the translators’ track: speakers choose the language in which they prefer to speak. The first panel is in English, the second is in Spanish.
Outlines the current challenges of Colombia’s peace process, across the board, and makes recommendations for U.S. policy.
Two panels, hosted by WOLA: a presentation of the latest Kroc Institute report on accord implementation, and a discussion with women, Afro-Descendant, indigenous, and LGBT+ leaders.
Join the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the International Institute on Race and Equality, the Latin America Working Group (LAWG), Colombia Human Rights Commission (CHRC), and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) for an online forum.
The inclusion of an Ethnic Chapter, as well as women’s, LGBT+, and gender rights issues in the 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was not only historic, but a model for future peace accords globally. Now, in its fourth year of implementation, while the Colombian government has made progress in some areas, challenges remain in terms of implementing certain commitments in a timely, comprehensive way.
On June 16, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame published its fourth comprehensive report on the peace accord. As part of its formal role as an independent arbiter of Colombia’s peace deal, the Kroc Institute uses data collection and analysis, based on a wide array of quantitative and qualitative variables, to assess where Colombia is advancing in implementing the peace accord commitments and where challenges still remain. The Ethnic Commission, composed of leaders from Afro-Colombian and Indigenous territories and civil rights groups, also released its most recent report on the implementation status of the Ethnic Chapter.
Join us to learn more about the findings of these reports and updates from experts on women’s rights, gender, and LGBT+ provisions. U.S.-based organizations including LAWG, WOLA, and others will share a collective set of recommendations for U.S. policy towards Colombia entitled, “Protect Colombia’s Peace.”
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. GMT-4 (Washington, D.C.)
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. GMT-5 (Bogotá, Colombia)
First Panel: “Towards Territorial Transformation”: The Kroc Institute’s Fourth Report on Implementation
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
- Josefina Echavarría
Director, Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) at the Kroc Institute
- Elise Ditta
Research Associate, Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) at the Kroc Institute
- Daniel Cano
Political Relations Coordinator, Barometer Initiative at the Kroc Institute
- Rebecca Gindele
Specialist, Barometer Initiative at the Kroc Institute
- Moderator: Adam Isacson, Director of Defense Oversight, WOLA
Panel 2: Peace Accord and Cross-cutting Approaches
11:00 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
- Luis Fernando Arias
Secretary-General, National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC)
- Ariel PalaciosNational Afro-Colombian Peace Council (CONPA)
- Wilson Casteñada
Director, Caribe Afirmativo
- Diana Gómez Correal
Professor, Interdisciplinary Center for Development Studies (CIDER) at Universidad de los Andes
- Larry Sacks
Colombia Mission Director, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- Moderator: Carlos Quesada, Executive Director, International Institute on Race and Equality
12:10 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
- Lisa Haugaard
Co-Director, Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
- Josefina Echavarría
Director, Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) at the Kroc Institute
The event will be chaired by Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, Director of the Andes at WOLA.
Simultaneous interpretation into English and Spanish will be available.
A discussion of the conflict’s impact on Afro-Descendant communities in Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío.
A conversation with northern Cauca social leader Hector Marino Carabalí.
A discussion of the experience of Afro-Descendant people who were forcibly displaced to Bogotá and its environs.
Afro-descendant communities along Chocó’s Atrato River fight to protect the river from the conflict’s effects.