Alternatives to war: Colombia’s peace processes
Publication date: 
2004
Issue number: 
14

Forty years of armed conflict have created a horrific legacy of violence and suffering in Colombia. Yet they have also resulted in a wealth of imaginative peace initiatives by people and institutions throughout society and across the political spectrum.

Accord 14 introduces over three decades of peacemaking efforts. It reveals the extraordinary work of civilians at grassroots, regional and national levels, and documents the main features and outcomes of formal peace processes with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), smaller guerrilla groups and more recently the paramilitaries.

Authors with expert or first-hand knowledge of Colombian peacemaking identify the successes and obstacles encountered in the search for a peace deal, pinpointing lessons to inform practice and policy. They stress the need to:

  • ensure that a future model of conflict resolution harnesses greater public participation
  • ensure respect for human rights
  • build consensus and commitment to the negotiating agenda
  • strengthen constructive international cooperation and improve democratic processes.

Accord 14 also contains a chronology of Colombia’s conflict and peace processes plus profiles of key people and institutions, full texts of the agreements and tables of peace initiatives and negotiating agendas.

This issue of Accord was edited by Mauricio García-Durán.

I have just returned from an official mission to Colombia… and your publication gave me important background information and helped me understand the complex situation in that country … other Accord reports have been equally useful…

Rodolfo Stavenhagen, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People