Bogotá, October 14, 2016. The Colombian office of the Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (IREHR) is pleased to publically release its first policy paper on Afro-Colombians and the post-accords, titled “Afrocolombianos, Afrocolombianas y Post-Acuerdo: Análisis de condiciones para la adopción de un enfoque diferencial étnico-afrocolombiano.” This paper aims to analyze the necessary conditions in the post-accord environment for the implementation of a differential ethnic approach to peace for Afro-Colombians.
The analyses presented in this report were carefully constructed prior to the results of the national plebiscite on October 2, 2016, whose unfavorable results halted the implementations of the final Peace Accords between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla forces. Despite the fact that regions with majority ethnic populations voted largely in favor of the final Peace Accords, the final results at the national level rejected the accords by a minimal margin (YES – 49.76%, NO – 50.23%). This result has suspended the peace process and the implementation of the accords. At this moment, social processes and institutions are being put in place with the aim of preserving the existing bilateral ceasefire and to finding alternatives to “renegotiate” the final accords. It is within this context that ethnic organizations and communities are making great efforts to safeguard the progress achieved so far in the Peace Accords, particularly in regards to the “ethnic chapter” incorporated in to the accords.
Despite the situation of uncertainty, the analysis of the accords presented in this document remain valid and will continue to be a relevant guide for action in the new and developing circumstances surrounding the peace process. For this reaseon, the document will make an important contribution to the efforts to understand the necessary conditions in the post-accord scenario that will ensure the restitution and protection of the rights of Afro-Colombian communities most affected by the armed conflict.