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Find here a selection of opinion, background and analysis on the social, political and economic situation in Colombia.

The 20th Anniversary of a Peace Agreement

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On July 26, 1996, indigenous communities of Tolima and the FARC-EP signed a peace agreement in Gaitania, a small village near Marquetalia, the birthplace of the marxist guerrilla. In a region marked by rural struggles and represented by their respective leaders - regional comandante Jerónimo Galeano and native traditional authorities-, the parties put aside contradictions and committed in a historical pact guided by the desire for peaceful coexistence.

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The Nasa people are the most organized and combative indigenous community of Colombia. Before the Spanish Conquest, they were known for their braveness and bellicosity. During the period of America’s colonization, they courageously fought against Spanish plundering of their lands. In the republican history, the Nasa people have always vindicated their rights to land, territory and culture. Nowadays, the Nasa people are playing a critical role Colombian social movements and they have reached a remarkable autonomy and self-governance in the departamentos of Cauca, Tolima and Valle del Cauca.

During the 90's, tensions between Nasa councils and FARC-EP units in Western Tolima appeared and increased. The Army Brigade of Tolima intervened and armed the indigenous self-defense units. The confrontation between guerrilla units and Nasa people started to be spread over the region and to claim victims.

But peace and consistency won. A visionary generation of Nasa traditional authorities and the commitment of the FARC-EP with people's organizations, allowed the Nasa Wes'x local indigenous council and the FARC’s regional division to build and sign a ‘revolutionary agreement for coexistence’, which represents an important precedent for the future of peace in the whole country and a worldwide reference for peacebuilding. 

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