Ceremony & Pluralism and Peace in Colombia Workshop Series

May 10, 2018

Bojayá, Colombia

The Committee for the Rights of the Victims of Bojayá and the Centre held a series of workshops on the practical application of pluralism to the implementation of the peace accords in the territory of Bojayá. The workshops were organized for leaders of the 34 indigenous and 18 Afro-Colombian communities to equip them with an in-depth knowledge of institutional mechanisms and legislation contained in the Constitution, decrees on indigenous semi-autonomy and Afro self-government, and the ethnic chapter of the peace accords to advance respect for victims’ rights and a pluralist agenda.

The concluding ceremony included a symbolic presentation of the Global Pluralism Award to the communities of Bojayá and was attended by local and regional government officials, as well as representatives from the international community, including UNHCHR and the Canadian Embassy in Colombia.

Following the ceremony, Centre staff visited the Bella Vista Church, where the massacre of Bojayá took place, which is being transformed into a place of memory and a community centre. The church is being renovated with funds from the Award so that it can become a place for community-building and training on pluralism and its contribution to peace and reconciliation.

The series of workshops and the ceremony took place shortly after the 16th anniversary of the massacre of Bojayá, what is known to be the most brutal attack in Colombia’s 52-year conflict, as 79 people, 32 of which were relatives of Leyner, were killed at the hands of the FARC.