The International Office for Human Rights Action on Colombia

Alert on the fourth anniversary of the Colombian Peace Agreement. The humanitarian situation is deteriorating, and the peace process is not moving forwards.

The 24 November marks four years since the Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (The Agreement) was signed in the Teatro Colón in Bogotá. The Agreement seeks to bring an end to the armed conflict which lasted for 52 years and left more than 8 million victims and was the result of four years of negotiations between the parties. Its different chapters include measures to eliminate the structural causes of the armed conflict to prevent repetition, however, other illegal armed actors in Colombia such as the ELN and paramilitary groups are not included in the Agreement. Four years on since the beginning of the implementation of the Agreement, the lack of progress made so far is worrying.

According to the Instituto Kroc, 25% of the measures in the Peace Agreement have been fully implemented and 23% have not begun to be implemented. However, in 2019, just 2% had been implemented.[1] At the current rate of implementation, only half of the measures which were set to be implemented between 2020 and 2022 will have been completed in this timescale.[2] The chapter on Comprehensive Rural Reform, where the European Union’s support is focused, is the chapter showing the least progress: with just 4% of the measures fully implemented.

European support is also focused on the process of reincorporation into civilian life of former FARC-EP combatants. Since the signing of the Peace Agreement 241 former combatants have been killed.[3]

The Agreement’s cross-cutting gender and ethnicity measures continue to be implemented at a lower rate than overall levels. According to GPAZ, just 13 of the 122 measures in the Agreement have been actioned.[4] The current government has prioritised implementation in such a way that 71 of the 122 measures have been deprioritised.[5] The Peace Agreement has opened up new spaces for women’s participation in the implementation process however, at the same time the level of risk for women who participate in the process has increased, above all in rural areas. The LGBTI population are systematically excluded from policies for the implementation of the Agreement.[6]  Just 10 percent of the ethnic measures have been implemented. What is more, violence against ethnic communities has intensified[7]: 105 indigenous and Afro-descendant leaders have been killed in 2020 according to Indepaz.[8]

On numerous occasions, the Duque Government has obstructed or put a stop to the implementation of the Agreement by failing to provide the necessary resources in the National Development Plan, affecting measures related to Comprehensive Rural Reform, the Special Peace Jurisdiction and the Truth Commission.

This failure to implement the Peace Agreement quickly and fully is one of the factors contributing to increased situations of armed confrontation in Colombian regions. This is leading to forced displacement, massacres of the civilian population (74 in 2020)[9], confinement, threats and killings, disproportionately affecting the small-scale farming and ethnic minority populations. Moreover, the measures established in the Peace Agreement to improve the protection of human rights defenders are either not being implemented, or only partially and slowly, including the National Commission for Security Guarantees and the Public Prosecutor’s Special Unit of the Attorney General’s office.

Considering the above, Oidhaco calls upon the international community to:

  • Urge the Colombian government to continue making progress in implementing all areas of the Peace Agreement.
  • Continue showing political support for the Peace Agreement and its full implementation, and at the same time, emphasise that the main actor responsible for this implementation is the Colombian State.
  • Urge the Colombian government to resume the dialogue process with the National Liberation Army and to make progress in dismantling other armed groups in the different regions of Colombia.

Further information: Jorge Gómez, OIDHACO Coordinator, oidhaco@oidhaco.org, tel. +32 2 5361913


[1] Instituto Kroc de Estudios Internacionales de Paz, 2020. Progress in implementation up to November 2019

[2] La Silla Vacía. Las 12 alertas del cuarto informe del Instituto Kroc. 10 July 2020

[3] Contagioradio. Tres firmantes de paz asesinados en Chocó, Caquetá y Putumayo. 17 November 2020

[4] La Silla Vacía. Implementación del Acuerdo de Paz no toca todavía la vida de las mujeres. 18 November 2020

[4] CERAC; CINEP; GPAZ – ibid Silla Vacía.

[5] La Silla Vacía. Implementación del Acuerdo de Paz no toca todavía la vida de las mujeres. 18 November 2020

[6] CERAC; CINEP; GPAZ – ibid Silla Vacía.

[7] La Silla Vacía. Las 12 alertas del cuarto informe del Instituto Kroc. 10 July 2020

[8] Indepaz. Líderes sociales y defensores de derechos humanos asesinados en 2020. Figure, 15 November 2020

[9] Indepaz, Informe de masacres en Colombia durante el 2020 figure up to 14 November 2020 [last accessed on 19 November 2020]

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