In Colombia, PAX is working on peace and security. We also advocate for the democratic participation of citizens from all layers of society in decision-making on issues that affect their lives, such as the introduction of large-scale development projects.
Colombia has been ravaged by conflicts for more than half a century. Despite several peace agreements and demobilisation processes, the violence continues. The most recent and historic peace agreement was signed between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla in 2016. In addition to agreements on tackling poverty and inequality, drug production and lack of political participation, the agreement also resulted in the establishment of several transitional justice institutions that seek truth, justice, and reparations for the victims of the armed conflict.
PAX supports victims and their organisations in the regions of Cesar, Meta, and Cauca. Together with our local partners, we are committed to
- restoring and returning land to farmers who have been forcibly displaced.
- contribute to the search for forcibly disappeared persons.
- promoting dialogue between victims and perpetrators to achieve reconciliation.
In addition, PAX has signed cooperation agreements with the Truth Commission and the Peace Tribunal, which were established after the signing of the peace agreement.
PAX is also investigating the involvement of companies and other unarmed economic and political actors in the conflict. In Cesar, a coal region in north-eastern Colombia, we are calling on companies to take responsibility for their involvement. In Europe, we are campaigning for energy companies that import Colombian 'blood coal' to make them contribute to reparations for the victims.
Read more about our Stop Blood Coal campaign.
Read or download the report The Dark Side of Coal.
Would you like to support the work of PAX in Colombia? You can donate here.
Support for victims in peacebuilding
PAX supports victims of the Colombian armed conflict. We help people from the Cesar, Cauca, and Meta regions to stand up for their right to truth, justice, and reparations. We do this by offering legal and psychological support, providing training on their rights and safety and by investigating abuses. PAX also assists local communities with the reintegration process of former combatants and preventing forced recruitment by new armed groups. We also assist victims and government agencies in the search for forcibly disappeared persons.
Corporate accountability in conflict areas: coalmining in northern Colombia
In various areas of Colombia, large-scale development projects, such as mineral extraction, infrastructure, or industrial agriculture, are intertwined with the armed conflict. For example, coal mining in northern Colombia has, intentionally or unintentionally, contributed to large-scale human rights violations, of which the local peasant population has fallen victim.