MAPP – OAS urges progress toward comprehensive peace in Colombia

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USA / COLOMBIA – The Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia of the Organization of American States (MAPP/OAS) delivered Wednesday to the OAS Permanent Council its 32nd report, corresponding to the second half of 2021, in which it points out the progress, risks and threats in different areas of peacebuilding in the territories most affected by the armed conflict, crime and inequality.

As a result of 5,197 monitoring and accompaniment actions in nearly 700 population centers in 29 departments, the report highlights institutional achievements in the implementation of the Development Programs with a Territorial Approach (PDET), the Comprehensive National Program for the Substitution of Illicit Crops (PNIS), humanitarian demining, the Intersectoral Commission for the prevention of recruitment, use, utilization and sexual violence against children and adolescents, and access to institutional participation of youth and victims.

In the document, the Mission recognizes the democratic renewal process carried out in territorial bodies such as the Community Action Boards (JAC) and the Victims’ Participation Committees; the election of the Municipal Youth Councils (CMJ) and the Special Instance of Women of the Commission for the Follow-up, Promotion and Verification of Implementation (CSIVI), and the reactivation of the election process for 16 Peace Seats for the Congress of the Republic.

The MAPP/OAS also appreciates the significant progress in the submission of reports by the victims to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), the territorial deployment of the Unit for the Search for Persons considered Missing (UBPD) to establish search guidelines, and the work carried out by the Truth Clarification Commission (CEV) to consolidate the Final Report, as actions that contribute to the victims’ access to truth, justice, comprehensive reparation, and guarantees of non-repetition. The Mission hopes that the presentation of the CEV Report will contribute to strengthen dialogue, reconciliation and the transformation of realities in the country.

In turn, the MAPP/OAS expresses its utmost concern over the persistence of violent actions by illegal armed groups that seriously affect communities, mainly social and community leaders; ethnic authorities; women; children and adolescents; victims of the armed conflict; persons in the process of reincorporation; and public servants.

The OAS Mission observed that homicides, forced displacement, attacks, threats, installation of anti-personnel mines, extortion and territorial control continue in Bajo Cauca (Antioquia), Catatumbo (Norte de Santander), Sur de Bolívar, Sur de Córdoba and the Atrato, Baudó and San Juan river axes (Chocó), as well as in the departments of Arauca, Cauca, Caquetá, Guaviare, Meta, Putumayo, Nariño and Valle del Cauca. Also, the forced recruitment of minors continues, particularly affecting members of ethnic peoples and migrant populations, as well as the increase in de facto justice.

In this stage of transition that Colombia is going through, and at a time when polarization divides and violence subtracts, MAPP/OAS calls on society as a whole to continue advancing toward A comprehensive peace. “A peace that defends life and ceases all violations against communities and leaderships; that silences all weapons and rifles; that opens scenarios for dialogue and judicial alternatives with the different illegal armed groups; that facilitates the comprehensive and articulated arrival of the State, and accelerates development in all territories,” said Roberto Menéndez, chief of Mission.

Therefore, MAPP/OAS renews its commitment to continue supporting peacebuilding in the territories most affected by violence and the limited institutional presence, under the principles of impartiality, autonomy, independence, solidarity and respect.

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