Protecting political leaders for a more inclusive democracy in Colombia

Since January 2016, 543 political, social and community leaders have been assassinated in Colombia.

This rise in political and social violence poses a serious threat to the country’s democracy and fragile peace.

Colombia’s Electoral Observation Mission and NIMD recently developed a study, funded by EU, on the dynamics of political violence since the signing of Colombia’s Final Peace Agreement in 2016.

The research highlights the risk that the strategies currently in place will not be enough to prevent violence rising further in the coming years. It also calls for effective violence prevention and mitigation policies in response to this threat.

The “Protection of Leaders for Inclusive Democracy” project

NIMD is embarking on a new project, in partnership with the Electoral Observation Mission, to tackle political violence by promoting a democratic culture in Colombia

The project aims to strengthen the State’s capacity to prevent human rights violations of political, social and community leaders, and enhance the protection of their human rights.

The project will run for 3 years and is funded by the EU.

What NIMD will do

NIMD believes dialogue between opposing parties is key for the promotion and protection of human rights and political rights. In the long term, dialogue builds trust, decreases polarization and helps reduce intolerance and violence in politics.

Alongside the Electoral Observation Mission, NIMD will run Democracy Schools for civil society and 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, we hope to foster a culture of trust and non-violence.

NIMD’s Democracy Schools help to build trust among politicians from across the political spectrum.

In addition, we will work with State institutions to help them communicate and collaborate more effectively with one another. The increased trust and collaboration between them will help to improve their response to violence against human rights defenders, social and community leaders, and the communities they defend.

Lastly, we aim to increase access to information by civil society, especially regarding violence towards political, social and community leaders. We will also work through social media and the media to raise awareness of political violence among the general public.

Through these actions, we hope to help the Colombian State to put in place concrete policies to reduce violence and cement peace in the country.


This project is funded by the EU.