Colombia: City officials are preparing for post-conflict peace-building in Cundinamarca

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An article of HSB Noticias (reprinted by permission)

Cuidad Salud is among the municipalities hardest hit by violence because of its proximity to Viotá, the epicenter of the violence of the Alto Magdalena.

cundinamarca
Jerome Gordillo, secretary of Government of Cundinamarca, accompanied by Deputy Carlos Ferro, and other officials in the forum.

For several years now Colombia has been speaking of post-conflict which is expected soon when finally a number of outstanding agreements for the Peace Accord are signed in Havana. It is a peace that many see far away, but are beginning to be felt in municipalities that were seriously affected by the violence and now living with other kinds of social problems. This is the case in Tocaima which suffered from the problem of insecurity and armed groups and currently faces the problem of drug trafficking but is hoping that initiatives such as that of the government can enable them to live in harmony and peace.

An advance

Municipalities are advancing in strength for their capacities to work on reconciliation with communities in the peace process. In order to implement strategies to resolve conflicts between communities through alternative justice of conciliation, the secretaries of government and municipal representatives participated in a departmental meeting that laid the essential foundations to address the peace process and lighten the load of the courts.

Coexistence

During this first regional meeting, progress was made in strengthening the national policy of coexistence and security in the issue of reconciliation. Jerome Gordillo, secretary of Government of Cundinamarca, said that Cundinamarca is the first post-conflict department in the country, and it is the responsibility of mayors and ombudsmen to efficiently handle the peace process. “We work directly with communities, especially for the qualification of municipal authorities to advance the promotion and establishment of a culture of peace with foundation in reconciliation that allows the peaceful resolution of conflicts. The message is peace,” he said.

For his part, the Deputy Minister of Political Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior, Carlos Ferro, explained the importance of strengthening the capacities and knowledge of ombudsmen for the issue of conflict resolution in the municipalities. “From the Ministry we are already in the process of enlisting municipalities for this. We help empower them with regard to reconciliation and post-conflict peacebuilding in all municipalities. Peace begins in the territory when we recognize the reasons that caused the conflict and design tools and strategies to solve them,” said Ferro.

(Click here for the original Spanish version.)

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