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Collective reparation in Colombia: when everyone suffers from the ravages of war

July 26, 2016

Collective reparation in Colombia.

World Bank Group

This program will be strengthened in the framework of the country’s peace process.

More than 50 years of conflict in Colombia led to numerous acts of violence – forced disappearances, selective killings, mass displacement—against both individual and collective victims.

Collective victims were defined as ethnic and non-ethnic communities, groups, organizations and social movements. The armed conflict had a negative impact on their community organization, culture, possibilities of access to education and health and even their livelihoods.

In response, the Colombian Government, through the Victims Unit, created a collective reparation program to ensure that affected groups would have access to comprehensive reparation. The World Bank and other organizations are supporting this program.

Colombia is one of the first countries to begin a peace process that will take into account the effects of the internal armed conflict on “subjects of collective reparation.”

The program will be implemented in the following phases:

  • Identification (registration) of subjects of collective reparation;
  • Institutional and community enrolment;
  • Assessment of the damages caused by the armed conflict;
  • Participatory preparation of the Comprehensive Collective Reparation Plan; and
  • Implementation of the comprehensive plan in accordance with the measures established and the responsibilities of national or territorial bodies.

Guacoche, an Afro-Colombian community in Cesar Department in northeastern Colombia, is developing the first comprehensive plan for ethnic collective reparation of Afro-Colombian communities. The plan includes activities such as the rehabilitation of the Cesar River as a social space, among others.

This video tells the story of Guacoche as a victim of the conflict and the perspective of its residents in the peacebuilding process.