High Stakes for Peace for Colombia's Displaced

On August 24, the Colombian government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias Colombianas – Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) came to a peace agreement after negotiations that lasted nearly five years. It is hoped that the peace deal will mark an end to some of the bloodshed from battles between the government, paramilitaries, and FARC guerrillas. The stakes for peace are high, particularly for Colombia’s marginalized indigenous and Afro-Colombian populations, who constitute the majority of those affected by mass displacement. For some of these communities, however, the peace agreement means little to nothing. In many areas of the country, other active armed groups and demobilized paramilitaries-turned criminal gangs continue to wage war against the state and amongst each other over territory control, drug trafficking, and illegal mining, among other illicit activities. Civilians continue to displace and face the humanitarian consequences of ongoing conflict. 

While Colombia and its international partners have the immense task before them of implementing the peace agreement, Colombia still struggles with meeting its commitments to the conflict’s victims. More than eight million people are awaiting reparations for the violence they have had to endure – the deaths of loved ones, forced displacement, sexual violence, kidnapping, amongst other acts legally recognized as acts of victimization by the Colombian government.