The Ethnic Chapter of the 2016 Colombian Peace Agreement and the Afro-descendants Right to Prior Consultation (Dr. Manuel Eduardo Góngora-Mera, Berlin)
After more than 50 years of conflict, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed the 24th of November 2016 a final peace agreement. It included an “Ethnic Chapter” that states that the agreement must be interpreted and implemented with an ethnic-based approach. Ethnicity was a crucial dimension of the conflict and represents one of the challenges of the transition to peace. For illustration: 1) Around 30% of former FARC combatants identify themselves as afro-descendants or indigenous; 2) Afro-descendants and indigenous leaders are dramatically over-represented in the list of murdered social and human rights activists in Colombia; and 3) 15% of the shocking seven million people registered as being internally displaced are indigenous, and one of every four forcefully displaced persons is afro-descendant. The Ethnic Chapter has significant implications on the relations between ethnic groups and the State in the six components of the agreement, including the right to be consulted before any implementation measure is enacted. However, very little progress has been made in this regard. The presentation aims to critically analyze the Ethnic Chapter’s first year of implementation, focusing on the right to prior consultation of afro-descendants.