Three years ago, Ivan Duque came to the presidency as a candidate for a party promising to “tear to shreds” the Peace Agreement. The sentences of the Constitutional Court, the pressure from the international community and the citizen mobilization prevented the president and the government party from dismantling the Accord, yet Duque’s mandate delayed the implementation process and led the country in a serious security crisis.
A recent report of the Comptroller General of the Republic warns that, never, during years of the implementation, the totality of the allocated resources envisaged by the Fiscal Framework in the Medium Term, consequently, at this rate – $ 5.6 billion pesos annually – the implementation of the Final Accord would be accomplished in 26 years.
Regarding Point 1 of the Agreement, Integral Rural Reform, the controller points out that the Land Fund, the main instrument for addressing policies of access to land, does not count with the resources for the purchase or allocation of land, which, having to do with the non-implementation of the Plan for the Massive Formalization of Rural Property and the non-creation of agrarian jurisdiction, does not allow for good prospects in the land access pillar and the peaceful resolution of conflicts about land1.
Until the first half of 2021, only 9,034 hectares were handed over to landless peasants, that, during almost 5 years of implementation, there was only 0.3 % of progress of the land allocation target contemplated in the Agreement. The National Land Agency reports the formalization of 2,065,215 hectares, which represents 29.5% of the target. It is important to note that the average hectare being regularized by the formalization of private estates is 1.4, which shows that of small agrarian plots.
Regarding the National Plans for Integral Rural Reform, there has been progress in the dispatch of the National Plan for the Promotion of the Solidary and Cooperative Economy and the Progressive Plan for Social Protection and Guarantee of the Rights of Rural Workers2. There is still a lack of plans relating to education, health, food, drinking water and basic sanitation, technical assistance, formalization, and environmental zonification.
Between 2017 and 2020, the allocation of resources for the Comprehensive National Program for the Substitution of Crops for Illicit Use – PNIS shows a decrease of 81%. The delay in paying attention to PNIS beneficiaries is persistent in all its components, especially in the productive project phase: at least 1% of families (726) who have signed voluntary substitution agreements have been benefited.
In August there was a very important progress regarding the political participation of the victims: the law establishing the 16 seats of peace in the Congress was promulgated. The Accord contemplates the creation of 16 Special Transitional Peace Circumscriptions with the objective of ensuring greater representation of the populations living in areas especially affected by armed conflict. The constituencies will have a validity of two electoral periods (2022-2026 and 2026-2030) and those who can register as candidates are the victims of the armed conflict. 4 years after failed attempts in Congress due to opposition from government and far-right parties, this provision of the Accord is now a reality.
One of the main concerns is the lack of supply of security guarantees for rural communities, community leaders and ex-combatants. According to Indepaz3, since the signing of the Peace Accord on August 24, 2021, a total of 1,227 community leaders and 284 people in the process of reincorporation have been murdered. In 2021 alone, the assassinations of 112 community leaders and 35 people in the process of reincorporation were recorded.
Between August 20 and 24, Ecomún, the cooperative of ex-combatants, made a Humanitarian Refuge as a citizen mobilization action of ex-combatants and communities of the departments of Cauca, Cauca Valley and Nariño rejecting violence against people in reincorporation processes. In this regard, the secretary of the cooperative pointed out that:
“In the three departments of the southwest, we have the concentration of 40% of assassinations of people in the process of reincorporating the FARC-EP. In addition, we have a serious situation of violence against communities grouped together in cooperatives or associations, some having had to move leaving behind productive projects of reincorporation and collective economic activities. This subject is already becoming urgent, every day we have a person assassinated, threatened, displaced (…) It is a desperate and urgent measure because we have already exhausted all the institutional authorities4.”
Also, social organizations denounced the lack of guarantees for permanence in the territories. One of the most complicated situations arises in Putumayo, where the interests of the oil companies, the drug trafficking routes, and the strong militarization linked to business interests provoke serious conflicts. Cases like that of AMERISUR, a company supported by the police and then by paramilitary groups, have been reported, which has spread its territorial presence at the expense of displacement and intimidation to peasant and indigenous communities.
Rural communities in Colombia continue to suffer the horrors of war and state abandonment refusing to implement the Peace Agreement in good faith. It is necessary that the government implements the Accord while keeping consistency with its purpose and, as a priority, gives security guarantees for communities, ex-combatants, and social leaders.
1 Contraloría General de la república (2021), Quinto informe sobre la ejecución de los recursos y cumplimiento de las metas del componente para la paz del Plan Plurianual de Inversiones.
2 These are in addition to the 9 plans already approved being: the National Rural Connectivity Plan, the National Plan for the Promotion of the Marketing of the Production of the ECFC, the National Irrigation and Drainage Plan for the ECFC, the National Plan for National Construction and Improvement of Rural Social Housing (in process of updating), Plan to Support and Consolidate the Generation of Income of the ECFC, the National Plan for the Promotion of the Solidarity Economy and the Rural Cooperative, the Plan Progressive Social Protection guaranteeing the Human Rights of Rural Workers.
4 Juan Camilo Londoño, secretario de Ecomún. “Nos siguen matando”: Ecomun. Ver: https://www.contagioradio.com/nos-siguen-matando-ecomun/