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11/08-11/09/2017 La paz territorial en las Zonas Veredales Transitorias de Normalización

Source: Hanna Thiesing

Source: Hanna Thiesing

Territorial peace in the Transitory Rural Zones for Normalization.

(Today: Territorial Spaces for Training and Reincorporation)


A workshop under the present title took place in Cali on the 8th and 9th of November 2017 within the framework of the exploratory study: “Territorial peace and conflict in Transitory Rural Zones for Normalization for FARC ex combatants”, supported by the German-Colombian Peace Institute (CAPAZ). The exploratory study has been developed by researchers at Universidad del Valle; Universidad Javeriana de Cali; Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Pasto campus; and the NGO CETEC. Social leaders from the Buenos Aires and Caldono (north of the Cauca Department) communities also participated in the workshop, which was supported by Heinrich Böll Foundation-Colombia.

Within the framework of the Final Peace Agreement to end conflict and build stable and lasting peace between the Colombian government and the ex-guerrilla group FARC-EP, it was agreed to install 20 Transitory Rural Zones for Normalization (ZVTN), and six Transitory Points for Normalization (PTN). In compliance with the process, ex-guerrilla members gathered in the ZVTN and surrendered their arms to the UN until the end of July 2017. At the same time, the purpose of the ZVTN was the reincorporation of the ex-guerrilla into civilian life. Thus, on the 1st of August these areas were renamed Territorial Spaces for Training and Reincorporation (ETCR).

On this foundation, Instituto CAPAZ has coordinated an exploratory study in order to study the development in three ZVTNs, two of them in Cauca (Buenos Aires and Caldono), and one in Nariño (Tumaco), in Colombia’s southwest. The objective of the study consists in looking for answers to a number of question in relation to the participation of local actors (indigenous groups, Afro-Colombians, peasant organizations and social activists in these communities) in the implementation of the agreements in the ZVTN, and to analyse the reintegration of the ex-FARC guerrilla in these areas. With this, the researchers attempted to diagnose to what extent the implementation of the peace agreements could lead to the emergence of new conflicts in the three rural areas being studied. Finally, the study aims to identify the current challenges and respective action approaches for the successful implementation of the peace agreements in the communities under threat.

At the workshop, researchers from the universities of Cali and Pasto presented the preliminary results of the study, which were then discussed with representatives of peasant organizations and Afro-Colombian communities. Although the results for the cases of Cauca and Nariño are significantly different concerning topics such as territorial control, the presence of actors, the correlation of forces, and socio-economic development, there are also common elements and threats that challenge the implementation of the current peace agreements in the three areas: the incessant increase of threats and violence towards social leaders; the establishment of new illegal armed actors in the regions where demobilization processes took place; the lack of funding and of a productive strategy for the reincorporation of the ex FARC guerrilla; the lack of integration of local actors in the transition zones; as well as the issues surrounding the agrarian point of the Agreement, such as access to and redistribution of land. The poor political attention paid to the demands made by the Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities generates tension, which is reflected in increased numbers of coca plantations along with increased drug trafficking in the region.

In this context, the social organizations of the communities of Norte del Cauca highlight the importance of being recognised as political actors in the process, as well as the possibility to articulate and exercise their territorial self-determination and to develop their respective production strategies in the microregional sector. This is the only way in which to achieve the successful implementation of the peace agreements in the corresponding areas.

The teams involved in the study in the two regions include: Rosa Bermúdez, Jeinny Cristina Corrales Mendoza and Natalia Achicanoy (Universidad del Valle, Cali), Tania Rodríguez and Luisa Fernanda Espitia Pérez (Universidad Javeriana – Cali), Tania Bolaños, Israel Biel and Ángela Castillo (Universidad Cooperativo de Pasto). The results will be published in January 2018.

For more information, please contact:

Rosa Bermúdez: rosa.bermudez@correounivalle.edu.co

Tania Rodríguez: tania.javerianacali@gmail.com

Tania Bolaños: tania.bolanos@ucc.edu.co

Kristina Dietz: kristina.dietz@fu-berlin.de

Date and location:

November 8th, 2017
Universidad del Valle, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Económicas, building 387, room 4028.

November 9th, 2017
Universidad Javeriana de Cali, building Palmas, room 4