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News > Colombia

UN Visits Colombia to Review Failing Peace Accord

  • United Nations Security Council members will visit Colombia this week.

    United Nations Security Council members will visit Colombia this week. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 July 2019

"There are many programs that were simply never implemented," a researcher of the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation said.

This week, United Nations Security Council members will visit Colombia to review the implementation of the 2016 Peace Agreement that ended the armed conflict between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the state.

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However, the administration under Ivan Duque has left thousands of the ex-combatants without protection in rural areas, as promised by the accord. Even prior to Duque's inauguration nearly a year ago, powerful crime rings have been entering these regions to illegally mining, log and cultivate illicit crops, while assassinating Campesino and Indigenous social rights leaders who oppose them. 

"There are many programs that were simply never implemented," said Naryi Vargas, researcher for the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation.

“It's a discouraging situation," she told Al Jazeera.

Since the deal was put into effect in 2016, over 700 social leaders and 135 former guerrilla fighters have been violently murdered, according to data from the Institute of Studies on Peace and Development (Indepaz). Few if any of the killings have been brought to justice.

The peace agreement signed between then President Manuel Santos and the FARC established the creation of a special investigation unit that should dismantle these criminal organizations. On Wednesday, FARC member and senator, Carlos Alberto Lozada, told the General Prosecutor of Colombia criticized the Colombian government for failing to dismantle paramilitarism in the region and, instead, has allowed these groups to grow. 

In May, the Supreme Court ordered President Duque to sign the Statutory Law of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), considered the main component to the accords that outlines for a temporary court to rule on the cases of ex-guerillas, into law because his objections to the measure had already been rejected by Congress a month prior. 

A spokeperson for the Duque administration told the press this week that "the president has been clear that we are going to fulfil the accords."

The International Committee of the Red Cross’s U.N. observer, Robert Mardini, said this week: “It is hard to speak about post-conflict because conflict is unfortunately still playing out there with humanitarian consequences.”

"The Colombian State has not been able to guarantee the security of those who signed the peace," Congressmember Lozado said.

At least 983 social leaders have been threatened with death in Colombia over the past three years — 50 percent of them were women.​​​​​​​

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