Context

The Final Agreement ending the conflict between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) was signed in September 2016. From a peacebuilding perspective, signing an agreement that ends a conflict is only the first step in a long process to build lasting peace. In order to adjust to the new challenges derived from the post-conflict scenario, the National Police of Colombia created the Police Unit for Peacebuilding – UNIPEP –, which seeks to enable a peaceful transformation of conflicts, as part of its institutional policies.

Working with the Colombian National Police contributes to the non-recurrence of armed violence and reduces the emergence of new forms of violence and criminality. For this reason, supporting the Colombian National Police has been strategically valuable for Interpeace and local partner, Alianza para la Paz. A partnership between UNIPEP, Interpeace and Alianza para la Paz, gave rise to the Peacebuilding Model of the National Police, launched on May 2017. Building on this participatory research process, our partnership in Colombia is working with the Police on addressing gender-based violence (GBV) and the recurrence of social protests.



Goal

In the post-conflict context, Interpeace and Alianza para la Paz seek to increase the capacity of the State, specifically the National Police (with the leadership of UNIPEP) to prevent violence and transform conflict. Particularly the programme aims to prevent and address gender-based violence in territories that are highly affected by armed conflict amid a low institutional presence of the State, as well as build capacities in the National Police to prevent and manage violence emanating from social conflicts.



Contributing to prevent gender-based violence

The high incidence of gender-based violence among rural populations in Colombia, and the multiple obstacles faced by these populations in accessing institutional services of prevention and care, has been identified as one of the main problems affecting girls, women and the LGBTI community in Colombia. In 2018, the programme began a process of increasing institutional capacities to prevent gender-based violence. Over 170 police officers have received training on gender perspectives through training processes in seven selected municipalities in Colombia.  Moreover, the progamme has helped facilitate coordination between public institutions and CSOs to develop joint initiatives against gender-based violence, and has helped increase awareness of GBV, through communication strategies developed at the national and local level. Additionally, through the purchase and donation of cars, motorcycles, tent...

Building capacities in the national police to prevent and manage violence

Most social conflicts in Colombia become violent due to the lack of a State response to social demands in territories that are highly affected by armed conflict, the presence of organized criminal groups, illicit economies and natural resource disputes. The National Police has the responsibility of preserving security, peaceful coexistence, and restricting violence driven by social conflicts. However, there is still an inadequacy of non-violent methods to prevent and avoid the escalation of the violence that emanates from social conflicts. In 2018, Interpeace and Alianza para la Paz, launched the “Conflict Transformation and Territorial Peace” programme, to help build capacities in the national police to prevent and manage violence originating from social conflicts in 5 municipalities. Through participatory research processes, the programme has developed a diagnostic document and conditions for...

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