London/Bogotá – 6 June 2019: “Signing a Peace Agreement is not enough,” say 29 international organisations involved in a mass campaign supporting the Colombian Peace Process. Since the signing of the internationally acclaimed Peace Accord in 2016, violence against peace and human rights activists has surged dramatically in Colombia; at least 155 were killed last year alone.
The international platform Space of Peace Cooperation (Espacio de Cooperación para la Paz – ECPP), a network of 29 European and American civil society organisations working on Colombia, is launching a campaign to raise international awareness of the jeopardy that the implementation of the Peace Accord is facing. The campaign “International community – emergency call for a Colombia in peace” will be launched simultaneously across Europe and the Americas on 6 June.
The member organisations of the ECPP are committed to peacebuilding and a negotiated end to the armed conflict in Colombia. However, while the Colombian Government is failing to ensure the full implementation of the Peace Accord with the FARC, the armed conflict is continuing in the rural areas with paramilitary groups and the ELN guerrilla group fighting for territorial control. According to the IDMC, more than 11,000 people have been forced to leave their homes due to combats between armed groups since the beginning of 2019.
The international campaign calls for the effective implementation of the Peace Accord, and for respect for the work of human rights defenders in Colombia. Its aim is to influence the US, European and Latin American governments, as well as the European Union, the Organisation of American States and the United Nations, to ensure that the international community continues to support and monitor the implementation of the Peace Accord and the enforcement of International Humanitarian Law. The UK has a key role in this as it holds the pen on the UN Security Council for the UN Mission for the monitoring of the implementation of the Colombian Peace Accord.
Through this joint campaign, the organisations want to build international pressure to ensure that the Colombian Government complies with the Peace Accord signed with the FARC-EP and that it resumes the peace talks with the largest remaining guerrilla group, the ELN.
”ABColombia supports the International Emergency Call for a Colombia in Peace, because we are concerned about the fragility of the peace process. We want to highlight the important role Human Rights Defenders play for peacebuilding in Colombia. The campaign addresses the social and political impacts caused by the killings and threats against the people who are working for peace and human rights in Colombia.”
Louise Winstanley, Programme and Advocacy Manager at ABColombia, a UK-based organisation participating in the campaign.
From 6 June until the end of November 2019, the ECPP will be sending messages, share information, organise acts of solidarity, make public declarations and organise advocacy actions in the decision-making forums of the UN, the Organisation of American States and the EU Parliament.