Today, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, met with Leyner Palacios, Commissioner for the Colombian Truth Commission. The meeting coincides with the publication of the Truth Commission’s final report on the country’s internal armed conflict since 1958 and ahead of the conclusion of the Commission’s operations in August 2022.
Commissioner Urpilainen said: Commissioner Urpilainen said: “The EU has been a strong supporter of the peace process and the work of the Truth Commission. I therefore welcome the publication of this Report. Our commitment to democracy, human rights and the full implementation of the Peace Agreement in Colombia will remain a key priority of the EU’s cooperation with Colombia. We are committed to contributing to build a fairer, more inclusive, and secure future for all Colombians.”
Commissioner Palacios said: “I am grateful for the European Union and the entire international community’s support in the peace process. The final report shows that the violence was exacerbated in 17 regions where ethnic people are in a majority. In these cases, implementing the guarantees of non-repetition and the elimination of structural racism overall are challenging. At this time, the support of the EU is imperative for implementing the recommendations in terms of non-repetition and to strengthen coexistence. We hope that this support will continue towards achieving a great peace.”
The Truth Commission’s final report concludes that 75% of the atrocities committed during the five decades of conflict took place between 1996 and 2010 and the large majority of the 460 664 registered homicides were civilians. Recommendations from the final report include:
- Creating a Ministry for Peace and Reconciliation,
- Implementing the Peace Agreement in full,
- Reaching peace in all parts of the country,
- Protecting the right to civil protest and democratic participation,
- Combating impunity,
- Reforming the security doctrine to protect rural communities,
- Promoting rural development and
- Fostering a culture of peace.
The EU has a long-standing commitment with peacebuilding in Colombia, dating back to the “Peace Laboratories” financed by the EU already two decades ago, and including today in the full implementation of the 2016 Peace Agreement. Peace is also one of the two pillars (along with Environment) of EU cooperation in Colombia for the coming years. The work of the Truth Commission comes to completion in August 2022, coming shortly after the conclusion of the EU Trust Fund for Colombia in December 2021, which was the instrument through which the EU supported Colombia to pursue a stable and lasting peace. The second phase of the EU’s support to the Truth Commission started in March 2022, with a €2 million contribution for 18 months.
The overall indicative amount for the bilateral support for Colombia during the period 2021-2024 is €75 million. Of this, €39 million is allocated to the priority area Peace (including migration and gender).
About the Colombian Truth Commission
The Truth Commission (‘Comisión de la Verdad’) is a national autonomous public entity whose mission is to listen and understand, without judging. It seeks the truth of what happened in the context of the internal armed conflict, to shed light on the violations committed therein, and to offer society a broad explanation of its complexity and an account that includes all voices. The Truth Commission promotes the recognition of victims’ right to the truth, and the voluntary recognition of individual and collective responsibilities of those who directly or indirectly participated in the conflict. It also promotes coexistence in the territories, reparation of victims and with non-repetition as the horizon.
- Publication date
- 12 July 2022
- Directorate-General for International Partnerships