Colombia

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Demonstrating the transformative power of the peace accord


WHY USAID/OTI IS IN COLOMBIA

Colombia has experienced armed conflict with insurgency groups for over 50 years. Among the root causes are lack of state presence and structural inequities that have created a divided nation: a modern, urban Colombia, and an impoverished, neglected, rural Colombia, where most of the conflict takes place.

The 2016 Peace Accord signed between Colombia’s largest guerrilla insurgency group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Government of Colombia (GOC) is one of the world’s most comprehensive, requiring wide-ranging reforms related to rural development, inclusive political participation, transitional justice, and the reduction of illicit economies such as coca cultivation. Despite significant progress, Colombia continues to face many challenges implementing this complex plan. The security context has deteriorated as new armed groups and drug trafficking organizations emerge to fill the vacuum left by the FARC. OTI strives to help Colombia — one of the United States’ most important allies in the region — fulfill its obligations in accordance with local priorities, while adapting to emerging security challenges.

USAID/OTI’S ROLE IN COLOMBIA

USAID/OTI’s program, Colombia Transforma, is part of the U.S. Government’s efforts to support a sustainable and inclusive peace in Colombia. The program seeks to demonstrate the transformative power of the peace accord by:

  • Strengthening sustained engagement of local government and strategic regional actors in peace accord implementation.

  • Piloting approaches to challenge social norms that perpetuate the conflict and affect regional security. 

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • OTI supports grassroots organizations, including community action boards (JACs) and Afro Colombian and indigenous communities, to play proactive leadership roles in accord implementation in regions often caught between territorial disputes with illegal armed groups. OTI also helps the JACs strengthen their organizational structures, and advocate for increased state presence in historically neglected areas.

  • OTI supports small-scale infrastructure activities jointly implemented by municipal governments, community organizations, and the Agency for Territorial Renewal, that provide tangible evidence of state engagement, foster collaboration, and provide a model for future GOC rapid-response activities.

  • OTI supports the extension of local justice services into rural areas as the main conflict resolution mechanism, countering the normalization of armed groups.

Last updated: July 19, 2022

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