The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Afro-desdendant and indigenous communities especially hard.
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.
The Nukak Makú people of Guaviare, who were first contacted in the 1980s, have been hit hard by the armed conflict, including a recent case of sexual abuse by soldiers.
The grave situation of the Nukak people of Guaviare, who were first contacted in the 1980s, which has come under greater focus after allegations of military personnel committing sexual violence against a Nukak girl.
A brief overview of revelations of military personnel raping indigenous girls.
Military personnel allegedly raped a Nukak girl in Guaviare, the latest in a series of sexual assault allegations.
An animated narrative of sexual violence committed by soldiers against an indigenous girl in Risaralda.
Several senators discuss revelations that Army personnel raped an indigenous girl in Risaralda.
Tom Laffay is an American filmmaker based in Bogotá, and is a recipient of the inaugural 2020 Andrew Berends Fellowship. In 2018, his short film, Nos están matando (They’re killing us), which exposed the plight of Colombian social leaders, reached the halls of the U.S. Congress and the United Nations in Geneva.
This film was commissioned by The New Yorker and supported by The Pulitzer Center.
In this edition of WOLA’s podcast, Laffay discusses his new short film, Siona: Amazon’s Defenders Under Threat. The New Yorker featured it on its website on June 25, 2020. Laffay follows Siona Indigenous leader Adiela Mera Paz in Putumayo, Colombia, as she works to demine her ancestral territory to make it possible for her people displaced by the armed conflict to return. Though the armed conflict with the FARC may have officially ended, the Siona people not only face post-conflict risks, they also face threats from extractive companies. In the episode, Laffay describes the history of the Siona people and their territory, their relationship with yagé, and the courageous work undertaken by leaders like Adiela Mera Paz.
In Putumayo, Siona Indigenous leader Adiela Mera Paz works to demine her ancestral territory to make it possible for her people displaced by the armed conflict to return.
A look at the security challenges faced by the Siona people of Putumayo.
On June 2, 2020, EarthRights and 15 other international and Colombian civil society organizations, including WOLA, published a statement condemning the murder of Indigenous U’wa leader Joel Aguablanca Villamizar and the militarization of the ancestal U’wa territory.
Joel Aguablanca Villamizar was murdered on May 31, 2020 in the Department of North Santander during a Colombian military operation against fronts of the National Liberation Army (Ejército Nacional de Liberación, ELN). The Indigenous community has adamantly stated that their leader had no link to the armed group.
The militarization of the territory has had a detrimental impact on the indigenous U’wa population. The organizations demand that authorities investigate and punish those responsible in a timely manner and implement the necessary measures to prevent other senseless murders from occurring in the future.
Below is the text of the statement:
Human rights organizations condemn the murder of indigenous U’wa leader Joel Aguablanca Villamizar and the militarization of ancestral U’wa territory
Washington D.C, June 2, 2020: Last Sunday, indigenous leader Joel Aguablana Villamizer was murdered by the Colombian army in the Chitagá municipality of Norte Santander, Colombia. Joel was an indigenous leader and education coordinator for the U’wa Association of Traditional Authorities and Cabildos (ASOU’WA). The army murdered Joel as part of a mission to capture Darío Quiñonez, alias Marcial, third leader of the Efraín Pabón Pabón Front and commander of the Martha Cecilia Pabón Commission of the National Liberation Army (ELN). Earthrights Executive Director Ka Hsaw Wa issued the following statement in response:
“In carrying out this operation, the Colombian National Army and the ELN did not respect the basic principles of international humanitarian law, threatening the life and security of the U’wa civilian population, including five minors.
“The military operation that resulted in Joel’s murder was carried out in close proximity to the U’wa United Reservation, which is part of the U’wa Nation ancestral territory. This highlights the impacts that the Colombian government’s fight against armed forces still has on the indigenous U’wa population. The U’Wa have been declared an endangered group by the Constitutional Court of Colombia.
“The organizations below stand in solidarity with the U’wa voices who denounced this heinous act and who stated that ‘[they] are not going to allow this unfortunate situation to be considered a false positive for the Colombian State, since the murdered U’wa brother was never linked to the ELN insurgent group (A SOU’WA Communiqué).’
“We are concerned and outraged at the frequency of events such as this one. According to the Catatumbo Peasant Association (Ascamcat), with the death of Joel Aguablanca there have already been three cases of extrajudicial executions in the department of Norte Santander in 2020 (El Tiempo, 2020).
“We demand that authorities investigate and punish those responsible in a timely manner and implement the necessary measures to prevent other senseless murders from occurring in the future. Likewise, we will bring the situation to the awareness of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations Rapporteurship on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. EarthRights is currently supporting the U’Wa in a long-standing land rights case at the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights”
- Almáciga (Spain)
- Alma y Corazon (USA)
- Amazon Watch (USA)
- Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente (AIDA) (Regional-Americas)
- Colombia Human Rights Committee (USA)
- Corporación Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (Colombia)
- EarthRights International (Amazon)
- Indigenous Environmental Network (USA)
- Mujer U’wa (USA)
- Perifèries del món (Spanish State)
- Rainforest Action Network (USA)
- Rete Numeri Pari (Italy)
- University of California Irvine Community Resilience Projects (USA)
- Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) (USA)
- Wayunkerra Indigenous Women’s Initiative (Switzerland)
- Yaku (Italy)