In the crosshairs: centering local responses to SGBV in afro-colombian communities

The demobilization of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (“FARC”) since November 2016 has created a power vacuum, as multiple forces vie for areas previously controlled by FARC. This has resulted in new vulnerabilities in many majority Afro-Colombian areas of Colombia to SGBV at the hands of paramilitaries, guerillas, narco-traffickers, state actors, and mining and agricultural interests. Access to justice for survivors of SGBV, conflict-related or otherwise, is a major challenge. Report after report and statement after statement demonstrate that justice and security in the post-conflict peace process are illusory. In order to address these shortcomings, human rights advocates must support the work of Afro-Colombian women’s groups and the Proceso de Communidades Negras (“PCN”) to ensure access to justice which centers the victims, avoids revictimization, addresses stigma, and fosters community mobilization.