Colombia: Community Agreements on Social Harmony in the Face of Armed Violence: Steps to Follow
Amnesty International has launched “Community Agreements on Social Harmony in the Face of Armed Violence: Steps to Follow”, a document that recounts the experiences of two neighborhoods in the Catuche sector of Caracas that were divided by violence.
The commissions on social harmony in Catuche adopted strategies that succeeded in leading to a truce between two estranged communities (La Quinta and Portillo) that had been pitted against each other for decades, resulting in the deaths of more than 100 young people. With the implementation of this project, the two communities have passed five years with not one violent death due to clashes.
The document seeks to bear witness to this process of transformation, which was kick-started by agreements on social cohesion and the establishment of an emerging culture of peaceful co-existence.
At the same time, the aim is to spread the experience of these agreements with the aim of demonstrating that the way out of a cycle of violence is to make it a matter of public life: part of the way people live together and the conditions in which they co-exist.
The report also highlights the fact that empathy, dialogue, and the recognition of violence prove to be more fruitful than withdrawal, unwarranted repression, revenge and the use of arms.