Colombia: Looking back at the Democratic Action for Peace project

NIMD has now finalized its Democratic Action for Peace (ADP) project. This EU funded project aims to contribute to lasting peace in Colombia by:

  • providing political actors support to work towards peace in their country
  • promoting active and informed political participation of different groups in society

Addressing obstacles and challenges to political participation

To mark the end of the Democratic Action for Peace project, NIMD held an event for members of academia, civil society organizations and representatives of the international community.

NIMD staff and social leaders spoke at the event.

These participants were invited shed light on the obstacles and challenges of political participation in the aftermath of the Colombian Peace Agreement. In addition, NIMD shared the impact achieved by the Democratic Action for Peace project within this difficult context.

The event ended with a plea by four social leaders and project participants. Through their testimonies and leadership stories, these leaders made a call to the National Government and citizens in general, to guarantee the rights to life and personal safety of those who participate politically in the country.

Political violence in Colombia

Every 18 hours, a political, social or community leader in Colombia is the victim of an aggression or attack.

That means 566 of these people were victims of murder or attempts on their life between January 2015 and January 2019.

These figures are taken by the study entitled “Dynamics of political violence from the signing of the Final Peace Deal”, carried out by NIMD in cooperation with Colombia’s Electoral Observation Mission in 2019.

NIMD has been working to improve this situation. More on our work and how violence affects Colombian politics in this key interview with NIMD Colombia Executive Director Ángela Rodríguez.

The Democratic Action for Peace project

NIMD carried out the EU-funded Democratic Action for Peace project in eight regions most affected by conflict in Colombia.

In these regions, we promoted the implementation of Colombia’s Peace Agreement in three main ways:

  1. By developing the capacities of political actors
    NIMD supported political parties in their work to implement the reforms required by the Peace Agreement.
  2. By promoting a democratic culture and reconciliation
    NIMD set up eight multiparty Democracy Schools for civil society and (aspiring) politicians from all parties in those regions most affected by the conflict. By bringing people from across the political spectrum together in dialogue, and by promoting democratic values, NIMD took up its role to help heal past wounds.
  3. By providing technical support
    NIMD helped implement and track the Peace Agreement by conducting research and setting out recommendations. As part of this, we held multiparty dialogue sessions on the challenges that parties face in their implementation of the Agreement.

Through this work, we enhanced the personal capacities of nearly 800 social leaders, and benefitted over 6000 people.