Three women painting a banner for a march in Colombia

Nieles is working with other local women to “fight for peace not with weapons, but by shooting knowledge and training and learning.”

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.

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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.

Colombian Truth Commission

CAFOD supports CBCEW’s call for Colombians to share their experiences of conflict with the Colombian truth commission in the UK. Find out more

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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