Colombia (past project)

Whereas a peace agreement is imminent in the several-decade long armed conflict between the FARC and the Colombian government, the peace process, including its transitional justice dimension, predominantly relies on an already existing legal framework. In this regard, Law No. 1448 on the Attention and Reparation to the Victims of the Armed Conflict, adopted in 2011, serves as a pillar of the peace infrastructure. This law aims at comprehensive reparation of all victims of the conflict, based on both the damage suffered by the victim and pre-existing vulnerabilities, which have often aggravated the effect of the harm.

The Colombian legal framework of reparation provides for a differential treatment in favour of particularly vulnerable victims who have historically been exposed to structural discrimination based on their gender and ethnic identities, sexual orientation, age as well as disabilities. The law further establishes its own institutional architecture, the National System of Attention and Reparation to the Victims (SNARIV), which is coordinated by the Bogotá-based Unidad para la Atención y Reparación Integral a las Víctimas (Victims Unit). However, the implementation of the law proves difficult in a context of massive victimisation (more than 7 million registered victims), especially when a victim possesses several grounds of vulnerabilities. The idea of comprehensive reparation then requires intersecting the differential approaches, a process which is both theoretically and practically challenging.

Against this backdrop, the present project aims at strengthening the quality and impact of the reparation process, especially to the benefit of victims whose situation of vulnerability is aggravated by exposure to structural discrimination, as part of the Colombian and international efforts to bring justice to the victims of the armed conflict.

The Max Planck Foundation, with its mixed academic and practical background, will contribute to mainstream the question of intersectionality in the reparation process by filling the knowledge gap at the local level; making local actors of the reparation process reflect on potential ways of implementing this knowledge and the tools at their disposal; and fostering exchange between the various actors.

The project will combine capacity building activities for civil servants at the municipal and departmental levels in Caquetá, Meta and Putumayo (municipalities and departments are also part of the SNARIV) with consultancy activities for the Victims Unit in Bogotá. The information collected in the departments, including local challenges and potential solutions related to the implementation of the legal framework, will thus be directly communicated to the Victims Unit. The project will result in the development of several tools, such as training material, a guide and a network of local actors of reparation, to ensure durable strategies of reparation for the most vulnerable victims. The results of the project will be presented at a final conference in Bogotá.

In cooperation with:

Unidad para la Atención y Reparación Integral a las Víctimas


1 March 2016–31 December 2017