One of the first successes of the new Municipal Constituent Assembly was to secure the release of the kidnapped mayor from the ELN. However, in an effort to break with the corruption of the past, the Assembly informed him that they were not prepared to reinstate him and asked him to resign. When he refused, the population began silent marches and prayer vigils. Finally, the AMC organised a popular referendum throughout the municipality; when the results demonstrated that 95 per cent of the town demanded his resignation, the mayor conceded. The AMC then developed a new political and ethical code of conduct for future mayors and asked the national government to organise fresh elections. They replaced the title of 'mayor' with 'manager' to indicate that the purpose of the role was to ensure the implementation of the people's wishes. The subsequent elections passed smoothly with Jose Angel Gualdron emerging with a majority of votes. The result was recognised by the National Election Council and Gualdron was inaugurated.
The Assembly has also begun to change the culture of local politics. The large number of delegates to the AMC – which now stands at 230 – has substantially broadened political participation in and responsibility for local affairs. Extensive consultations in the local assemblies formed the basis for an integrated plan for development, peacebuilding and democratic governance that reflects the wishes of the population beyond the assembly. When the first manager's term expired in 2001, all candidates wishing to stand for election had to accept the plan for the municipality as the basis for their work. During the election campaign, assembly members accompanied all candidates to the constituencies, encouraging them to listen to the requests of the people rather than deliver lengthy speeches.
The AMC has strengthened accountability through changes to local electoral law and increased reporting requirements. It introduced new regulations obliging the manager to present his work for evaluation by the Assembly every twelve months. Permission to continue in office for the full three-year term is granted subject to a positive evaluation of the work undertaken during each year. The manager is also required to report to the AMC every three months, which then delivers a public report on its activities.
The AMC has also made significant progress in implementing the integral development plan at the heart of its project of liberation. The Assembly has built consensus on development and governance issues, begun to implement new agricultural projects and succeeded in improving the distribution and management of municipal resources.
The process of recovering popular sovereignty in Mogotes has served as a catalyst for community reconciliation in a previously polarised and violent society. As people have become accustomed to discussing their problems openly, incidents of violence have decreased considerably. Furthermore, the experience has offered local people a chance to participate in a peaceful process of political change and succeeded in involving young people, the future of the community, in the peacebuilding project. These experiences have underpinned the efforts to build a community of peace.
Perhaps most significantly, the experience of Mogotes has provided inspiration to other communities around the country. Often called the 'laboratory of peace', Mogotes was awarded the first National Peace Prize in Colombia in 1999. The municipality is now one of hundreds of zones of peace throughout the country and the inspiration behind the development of Municipal Constituent Assemblies elsewhere in the departments of Antioquia, Santander, Tolima and Huila. The Diocese of Socorro and San Gil also stimulated the development of a national network, the Red Nacional de Iniciativas por la Paz y contra la Guerra (REDEPAZ), which serves as the technical secretary to the Coordinating Committee for the Peace Territories and Communities. REDEPAZ runs a national 'hundred towns of peace' project to strengthen and support their activities throughout Colombia.