Seeking truth and justice for the LGBTIQ+ community in Colombia

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 A mural in Chaparral, Colombia visualizes the resistance and vibrancy of the LGBTIQ+ community, despite decades of being targeted by armed actors during the armed conflict.Credit: Bill Fairbairn

Colombia’s fifty years of armed conflict has left gaping wounds across the country, some of which are only recently coming to light. Colombia Diversa, Inter Pares’ counterpart, has played a key role in exposing how all armed actors specifically targeted LGBTIQ+ persons, resulting in a staggering 4,000 LGBTIQ+ victims. According to their findings, these were neither isolated nor random attacks, but rather sustained practices rooted in patriarchal and systemic gendered inequality and entrenched cultural prejudices that helped armed groups win legitimacy among and exercise control over civilian populations.

The signing of the peace agreement in 2016 was accompanied by a new framework for transitional justice in Colombia – a process for countries emerging from conflict where large-scale or systematic human rights violations are too numerous to address in the normal justice system. Transitional justice recognizes the dignity of victims, acknowledges violations, and aims to prevent them from happening again.

With the support of Inter Pares, Colombia Diversa is seizing this opportunity to seek truth, justice and guarantees of non-recurrence for LGBTIQ+ victims and survivors. They are working closely with LGBTIQ+ activists and survivors to document prejudice-based violence in the conflict, produce detailed reports for Colombia’s Truth Commission and other related transitional justice institutions, and provide legal representation and psychosocial support to victims and survivors.

In a context where unfamiliarity, mistrust and marginalization are the norm, Colombia Diversa is promoting healing and providing practical tools to empower LGBTIQ+ victims and survivors to share their stories and access justice.

Inter Pares is honoured to support Colombia Diversa as they continue to promote the meaningful participation of the LGBTIQ+ community in peace-building efforts, bolster their access to transitional justice and reduce impunity for LGBTIQ+ survivors of the armed conflict.

Colombia Diversa is promoting healing and providing practical tools to empower LGBTIQ+ victims and survivors.

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