What we do
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, five internal armed conflicts are occurring in Colombia simultaneously. These disproportionately affect indigenous, Afro-Colombian, peasant and other rural communities, and women, children and LGBT people. The conflict has produced around 9 million victims, and violations of International Humanitarian Law have been committed by all the armed actors involved in the conflict.
Despite the widespread persecution and violence, civil society in Colombia is very active and continues to play a fundamental role in the promotion of a negotiated end to the conflict and the construction of peace with social justice. Oidhaco believes in a negotiated end to the armed conflict and in the role of civil society in the construction of peace. For this reason, we have accompanied civil society initiatives and encouraged dialogue with the European Union and member- and other European states in an attempt to encourage understanding and garner support.
In 2016, the Colombian state and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC-EP) signed a Peace Accord, which was supported by Colombian and international civil society and by a range of European governments and multilateral bodies, including the United Nations. The Accord acknowledged the structural factors that led to the Colombian armed conflict and included measures on comprehensive rural reform and agricultural development; the reincorporation of former combatants; political reforms to deal with the problem of narcotics and drugs’ trafficking; the broadening of political participation; and reparation for the victims of the armed conflict.
However, the internal armed conflict and the humanitarian crisis in Colombia did not end with the signing of the Peace Accord, which has not been implemented in its entirety. Other illegal armed groups maintain their presence in the rural areas, carrying out attacks that have a disproportionate effect on ethnic and rural populations.
Given this panorama, Oidhaco argues that the European Union, its member- and other European states and the United Nations system should support and monitor the implementation of the comprehensive Peace Accord, ensure that international cooperation resources are deployed transparently to fund agreements included in the Accord and that the states providing finance should monitor the way it is spent permanently.
In addition, Oidhaco draws attention to the effects on the civilian population of the persistent armed conflict; it advocates for a negotiated resolution, in particular for dialogue with the largest remaining guerrilla group the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) and the effective dismantlement of paramilitarism. It highlights the effects of the Colombian government’s defence and security policies on the situation of human rights and International Humanitarian Law, the closure of spaces for civil society, the implementation of the Peace Accord and peace building in the rural territories.
The socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have deepened pre-existing global inequalities and increased pressure on people in vulnerable situations. This has had a particular impact on human rights and democracy cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Colombia. Although
Members of the EU Parliament send out a letter to Colombian President acknowledging the work done by the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) and condemning the repression in the context of the National Strike
36 MEPs, of different nationalities and political groups, addressed their concern about the current risks for defenders of the rights of indigenous peoples, afrodescendant communities, small-scale farmers, students, young people and women, especially in regions historically affected by the internal armed
The OIDHACO General Assembly requests guarantees for protesters during the National Strike in Colombia and sends alert regarding alleged use of excessive force by the state security forces.
On 28 April, a National Strike began in more than 500 municipalities in Colombia. Convened by the National Strike Committee, this protest brings together several sectors of the population. The protesters are criticizing the government’s tax reform bill, as they