On International Day of Peace 2016, we reiterate our welcoming of the recent signature of the peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). It represents a fundamental step towards ending more than 50 years of armed conflict which left eight million victims. The agreement has been the product of the struggle and work of decades by human rights organisations, victims and Colombian social organisations. PBI is proud to have accompanied them during this long, difficult and dangerous job, which took the lives of many people.
But peace is more than signing an agreement, and for Colombian society to heal and for its violence to assuage, the road is still long and fraught with uncertainties.
Furthermore, on 2nd October, the agreement will need to pass a referendum. Then will come implementation, and the Office in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warns that “There are repeated attacks against victims’ representatives, especially those bringing cases for violations attributable to State agents”. Indeed, thirteen human rights defenders were killed in a three week period after the signing of the agreement.