“Today, we are again worried… about invisible borders that prevent us from crossing from one neighborhood to another…”
Three years ago last Sunday, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government signed a historic ceasefire agreement, marking what was thought to be one of the last steps before the final Peace Accords and a laying down of arms in favor of peace. Today, we are reflecting on the changes that the Peace Accords has brought to Colombia. From our accompaniments in terrain and from the voices of our own partners, we have seen and heard renewed hope that the Accords would begin a new era of peace. Now, just three years later, many feel frustrated as attacks against social leaders continue to rise, and communities attempting to remain on their territories and build sustainable peace are continually put at risk.
But you don’t have to take our word it. Over the next few weeks we are bringing you Perspectives on Peace, videos of social leaders in different parts of Colombia sharing their first-hand accounts of what’s happening in their communities.
Coinciding with Pride Month, we start with two voices from the Punte Icaco Humanitarian Space in the city of Buenaventura, on Colombia’s Pacific coast. Members of the CONPAZ (Communities Constructing Peace in the Territories) network, they share their perspectives about the ongoing violence in Buenaventura, and in particular the harassment and violence against the LGBTQIA+ community.
(Make sure that subtitles are on when you watch the videos)
Karen is the legal representative for the LGBTI community in Buenaventura and a CONPAZ leader in Punte Icaco. She is concerned about paramilitary recruitment and recent threats against her personally.
Rubén Darío is part of the LGBTI community in Punte Icaco and a leader with CONPAZ. He is concerned about the ongoing violence against LGBTI people and the impunity for assailants.