The United Nations warns that violence threatens Colombia’s peace accords.
The United Nations warned Thursday at a Security Council meeting that Colombia’s deteriorating security situation poses a “significant challenge” to the country’s 2016 peace accords.
In 2016, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government signed a peace agreement, putting an end to more than 50 years of armed struggle.
The Colombian government and institutions, however, “could make better use of the mechanisms created by the agreement itself,” said Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, in light of the “formidable challenges” facing specific regions.
Protection of former combatants who have laid down their arms is one of the methods, he said, noting that at least 296 of them have been murdered by gangs and criminal organizations.
Despite the fact that the majority of the FARC disarmed (about 7,000 women and men), there were active dissidents who maintained the violence in various places.
2,500 militants refused to recognize the 2016 peace agreement because there was no cohesive command. According to Colombian intelligence, they continue to operate illegally, profiting from drug trafficking, illegal mining, and extortion.
Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations, according to Massieu, are “disproportionately afflicted by all sorts of violence.”
He called for a federal budgetary effort to fund the execution of the peace agreements, saying that the violence also affects human rights activists. According to the UN, just 65 percent of the cash for compliance with the accords has been spent between 2017 and 2020.
Authorities must make every effort to increase former insurgents’ access to property and housing, according to Massieu, who added that land plays a “important role” in the peace process.
Marta Lucia Ramirez, Colombia’s vice president and foreign minister, said the government had spent $118 million, which had benefitted hundreds of former guerillas who had surrendered their weapons. She said that $2 million of that money was spent on land acquisition.
Colombia’s 60-year conflict has taken the lives of more than nine million people, including the dead, the missing, and the displaced.