In Colombia DIPD supports a party-to-party cooperation between The Red-Green Alliance and Marcha Patriótica (MAPA) – an umbrella organization of 2,000 civil society organizations. The project is still in its initial phase.
Colombia is on paper one of the longest-standing democracies in Latin America. However an internal conflict has afflicted the country since the 1960s and greatly affected both political rights and civil liberties. A peace process between the government and Colombia’s main left-wing guerrilla group FARC, launched in 2012, led to the ratification of a peace accord in 2016 and has contributed to a significant decline in violence.
The peace accord calls for members of the FARC to demobilize, disarm, and reincorporate into society and politics, and it creates an alternative system for transitional justice that includes a “Special Jurisdiction for Peace” to address accountability for conflict-related crimes and established truth-telling mechanisms. The Colombian government has stepped up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, and now has a presence in every one of its administrative departments.
The current president is Juan Manuel Santos, who took office in August 2011. Santos received the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts negotiating a peace treaty with the FARC. The president is directly elected to a four-year term. As part of a series of 2015 constitutional amendments known as the Balance of Power reform, immediate presidential re-election was eliminated. Congress is composed of the Senate and the Chamber of Representatives, with all seats up for election every four years.