In 2016, after 50 years of civil war, the Colombian Government signed a peace agreement with the guerrilla group FARC. At the time it seemed like an opportunity to strengthen peacebuilding efforts throughout the country.
But now human rights violations are on the rise.
Since the signing of the peace agreement until May 2022, 319 signatories have been killed. In the first half of the year there have been 39 massacres in different regions of Colombia and the murder of 79 social leaders.
The power vacuum left by FARC in several regions is today fought over by various armed actors in territorial disputes. The Colombian government tries to recover territorial control. However, the Colombian government refuses to acknowledge the conflict as such and keeps referring to this new cycle of violence as acts of terrorism and international drug cartels. Their reactions have led to a militarization of territories and several breaches of the peace agreement.
This has generated many and gruesome human rights violations, weakening of the social fabric and democracy. Forced displacement of mostly rural farmers, indigenous people, and afro Colombians as well as massacres, and targeted assassinations of social leaders, human rights defenders, LGTBQ-leaders, and ex-combatants happen almost daily.
On top of everything, 2022 is an election year, something that tends to lead to new cycles of violence.