CAPAZ joins Semana por la Paz

CAPAZ joins Semana por la Paz

Flyer of the 31st Semana por la Paz. / CEC

The German-Colombian Peace Institute – CAPAZ will take part in Semana por la Pazthat will take place from September 2 – 9 2018 all over Colombia.

As part of the events, CAPAZ invites participants to the roundtable “Perspectivas para el Acuerdo Final bajo el nuevo gobierno de Colombia” (Perspectives for the Peace Agreement under the new government in Colombia), on Thursday September 6, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. at the CAPAZ seat at Claustro de San Agustín in Bogotá, Colombia (Carrera 8 No. 7-21).

Representatives from academia, the government, and civil society will meet to discuss the challenges inherent to the Peace Agreement signed between the Colombian Government and the former guerrilla group FARC-EP within the context of the recently elected government.

The event is free of charge and open to the public until seating capacity is reached (aprox. 70 seats).

Monsignor Henao read the official statement on the negotiations between the government and the guerrilla ELN. / Photo: Claudia Maya

Semana por la Paz Launch

August 16, 2018 saw the official national launch of Semana por la Paz, at the seat of the Conferencia Episcopal Colombiana (CEC) in Bogotá with the participation of CAPAZ and government representatives, universities, international organisms, NGOs and social citizen initiatives.

The 31st Semana por la Paz will include activities in different cities around the country. “Hay vida, hay esperanza: sigamos coloreando la Paz” (There is life, there is hope: let’s continue to colour peace) is the topic trough which “we seek to silence divisions in and among ourselves”, as expressed during the opening event by Monsignor Elkin Álvarez, general secretary of the Conferencia Episcopal Colombiana (CEC).

Official statement on the resumption of negotiations between the government and the ELN guerrilla group

During the launch, Monsignor Héctor Fabio Henao, director of Pastoral Social read the last official statement by the Consejo Nacional de Paz, Reconciliación y Convivencia (CNPRC), regarding the negotiations between the Colombian Government and the ELN guerrilla. In the message sent to the negotiating parties, the signatories called for a bilateral cessation of hostilities, the consideration of civil society, and the design of negotiation mechanisms. The CNPRC is an advisory body of the national government, made up by 105 members of civil society and the State.

Defending the lives of social leaders

Special guest, Alejandra Llanos, representative of the Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia (ONIC), joined the Semana por la Paz launch event in which she insisted on the importance of the social movement and the implementation of the Havana Agreements. She was emphatic in expressing the need to protect the lives of our social leaders, currently the most vulnerable actors in the current scenario of the continuation of the armed conflict.

María Paulina García, representative of the UN Commission for Follow-up, Impulse and Verification of the Implementation of the Peace Agreement in Colombia, referred to Semana por la Paz as an initiative to highlight, recognise and protect social organisations. She reiterated the commitment of this international organism to fulfil the covenant on the rejection of the murder of social leaders presented in July 2018. The director for the Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y los Desplazados (Consultancy on Human Rights and Displacement – CODHES), Marco Romero, called on other entities to join the “Lidera la vida” (Lead Life) campaign to defend the lives of social activists in Colombia.

Semana por La Paz Launch. / Photo: Claudia Maya

Peace: Achievements and challenges

The magistrate for the Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (Special Jurisdiction for Peace – JEP), Roberto Carlos Vidal labelled the institutions dedicated to fostering peace as the “most positive legacy” of the peace process. He highlighted the work of the Comisión para el Esclarecimiento de la Verdad, la Convivencia y la No Repetición (CEV), the Unidad de Búsqueda de Personas dadas por Desaparecidas (UBPD), and the JEP itself. Mr Vidal invited the victims to join the legal debates, present cases before the JEP, and integrate the perpetrators into social society.

Diego Bautista, on behalf of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, highlighted Colombia’s current transition with the end of the armed conflict with FARC-EP and the election of the new government. “The Final Agreement is no longer something that Colombians saw on television”, expressed Bautista. The Final Agreement is already part of the institutionality and, therefore, peace is not circumstantial but structural. He recognised the deeds but also the current and future challenges of peacebuilding.

Semana por la Paz: Local activities

Gustavo Quintero, Senior Adviser for the Bogotá District Mayor’s Office Derechos de las Víctimas, la Paz y la Reconciliación programme reported that the Colombian capital has and continues to receive the greatest number of victims and former combatants than any other city. Mr Quintero highlighted the high participation of local social organisations in Semana por la Paz. Luis Emil Sanabria from Red Nacional de Iniciativas Ciudadanas por la Paz y contra la Guerra (REDEPAZ) indicated that activities would take place before and after the actual Semana por la Paz, right up to the end of the year.

REDEPAZ is one of the organisers of Semana por la Paz, along with Pastoral Social Cáritas Colombiana, Universidad Pontificia Javeriana, Centro de Investigación de Educación Popular (CINEP), and the Bogotá District Peace Programme.

Download the Semana por la Paz 2018 activities programme (in Spanish)