Development Cooperation in Colombia
Norwegian People's Aid's partners in Colombia work with Indigenous rights, land distribution and marginalized groups.
In December 2016 Juan Manuel Santos received the Nobel Peace Price on behalf of the Colombian peoples for the peace process and agreement signed between the government and the leftist guerrilla Farc (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces). The peace process officially started in Oslo in October 2012 was signed by the parties in September 2016 and ratified by the Congress in November.
The peace agreement includes land distribution, drugs, political participation, human rights, political participation and an end to the armed conflict. The peace process has the support of many, but there are also strong forces against the agreement, led by the former President Álvaro Uribe. Nevertheless, the biggest challenge is not to sign an agreement, but to implement its intentions and create a peaceful and more equitable society. Also, although a peace agreement has been signed by the government and Farc, other armed actors remain, including the leftist guerrilla ELN and armed paramilitary groups.
Colombia has been characterized by conflict and widespread violence for decades. Civilians are caught between the military, guerrillas and paramilitary groups. Indigenous, Afro-Colombians and farmers are particularly vulnerable. Up to five million people have been pressured off their land and fled land and property. Despite the peace negotiations and agreement indigenous organizations, unions, human rights organizations, student groups and women's organizations are under enormous pressure, and their representatives are subjected to persecution, torture and murder.
NPA cooperates with four social organisations representing indigenous peoples (ONIC), afro-Colombians (PCN) and small farmers (ANZORC and CAN), in addition to the umbrella organization, People’s Congress. These organisations are part of the Agrarian Summit (2012- ), a political platform formed to address common problems and develop common demands towards the state. As part of this process massive mobilizations have taken place and resulted in negotiations with the government. The Summit has a list of eight demands, including land, food sovereignty, mining, political rights and social justice.
According to The Landmine Cluster Munition Monitor, and compared to 2017, the number of casualties in Colombia increased significantly in 2018. The trend for 2019 is also concerning. As of March of 2019, according to national authorities, there has been eight victims from mine explosion. Which means that, on average, one person is stepping on a mine every 15 days.