Colombia

Video: CAFOD works with Caritas Colombia (SNPS) and the Caritas Colombia Working Group to promote peace and justice in the resolution of the 50 year internal armed conflict. SNPS works with people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes and land. This video tells the story of one such peasant farmer community, Paquemas.  

CAFOD’s programme in Colombia focuses on peace-building, protection of human rights defenders and communities, sustainable livelihoods, work on business and human rights, and gender based violence. 

Why CAFOD works in Colombia

It has been over 50 years since violence between the Colombian Government and the formerly largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), began. In 2016, a peace agreement was signed between the government and FARC.

All parties to the conflict have been involved in serious human rights violations: more than 280,000 Colombians have been killed and almost eight million people have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety. Colombia has the highest numbers of internally displaced people in the world.

Marginalised communities, often living in rural areas, including Afro-Colombian, Indigenous and small-scale farming communities, have been most affected by the armed conflict. Poverty and inequality are among the root causes of the conflict and they continue to be unaddressed as many people are pushed into long term poverty, living in unsafe dwellings in shanty towns on the outskirts of cities. With the spread of coronavirus, fears about access to healthcare and the inability of people living in close quarters to isolate themselves have worsened. 

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CAFOD in Colombia

The Catholic Church plays a key role in Colombia as an advocate for peace and human rights and in the resettlement of uprooted communities.

Our programmes in Colombia focus on:

  • Peace-building.
  • Protection of human rights defenders and communities.
  • Sustainable livelihoods.
  • Work on business and human rights.
  • Gender based violence.

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