EL HERALDO, January 13, 2022
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
This information is contained in the most recent report by the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.
The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, in his most recent report on the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, which covers the period from September 25 to December 27, 2021, highlighted the fifth anniversary of the Final Peace Agreement as “an opportunity for the actors involved in the construction of peace and Colombian society to deal with the state of implementation, recognizing the historic advances as well as the enormous challenges that continue to exist.”
Nevertheless, he reiterated his concern about the threats to consolidation of the peace, especially the persistence of the violence in zones that are priorities for implementation.
With regard to reincorporation, the Secretary General emphasizes that, among the most important elements in the Agreement, are “those that create the conditions for transition to civilian life for the ex-combatants who have laid down their arms and continue to be committed to peace.”
During this period, he reported, the National Reincorporation Council approved eight collective productive projects, and the Reincorporation and Normalization Agency approved 370 individual projects.
The report also states that, five years after the signing of the Peace Agreement, nearly 59% of the more than 13,000 accredited ex-combatants, including 64% of the female ex-combatants, are participating in productive projects.
“In these five year, the violence against social leaders, ex-combatants, and communities has been concentrated mainly in 30 municipalities, the majority of which are priorities for the implementation of the Agreement. After five years, the violence against ex-combatants has been the greatest threat to their transition to civilian life. Since the signing of the Agreement, 303 ex-combatants (ten women) have been murdered, ten of them during the period of the report. Among them was María Muñoz, an indigenous ex-combatant from Cauca. Even though the report emphasizes that murders of ex-combatants diminished by 27% last year, it also points out that there is a growing tendency for threats by illegal armed groups against ex-combatants that take part in collective initiatives, affecting their productive and cooperative projects,” according to the report.
For its part, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has received information about the murders of 34 defenders of human rights. Seven cases are verified and 27 are in the process of verification. In addition, seven massacres have been documented that left 29 victims, totaling 56 massacres and 222 victims in 2021. Besides that, the United Nations for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that, in 2021, approximately 72,600 people have been forcibly displaced, and 65,00 forcibly confined, notoriously affecting indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.
And the report concludes by emphasizing “important developments in the area of work by the JEP, the Truth Commission, and the Unit for the Search for Disappeared Persons, including the recognition of responsibility by members of the Armed Forces accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Case 03, known as “false positives”.
The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, will present this report to the United Nations Security Council next January 20.