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The Elusive Political Consensus on Peace in Colombia: A Conversation with the Colombian Senate's Peace Commission

Date & Time

Dec. 11, 2018
9:00am – 11:00am


United States Institute of Peace
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The Elusive Political Consensus on Peace in Colombia: A Conversation with the Colombian Senate's Peace Commission

Since taking office in August 2018, Colombia’s government has sought to devise new strategies to advance peace and security in a country long plagued by armed conflict and organized criminal violence. The tense electoral cycle was characterized by sharp divergences over both the 2016 peace agreement signed by then-President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and ongoing peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN).  Despite lingering polarization, President Iván Duque has promised to forge unity over remaining implementation challenges and the future of dialogue with the ELN.    

Political consensus around peace, however, has remained elusive. Duque has sought to balance his declared commitment to accord implementation with the desire of his own political coalition to modify certain aspects of the agreement or minimize their importance in the face of other economic and budgetary goals. The ELN talks remain suspended despite efforts to overcome the current deadlock.  

In this context, the House and Senate Peace Commissions of the Colombian Congress represent unique fora for debate.  These bodies include legislators from diverse political parties and are increasingly engaged in the search for compromise over key issues related to peace and security.   

Please join the United States Institute of Peace, the Inter-American Dialogue, and the Woodrow Wilson Center on Tuesday, December 11th from 9:00-11:00am for a conversation with three prominent members of the Colombian Senate’s Peace Commission. The event will be held in Spanish with simultaneous English interpretation and live streaming. To follow the conversation on Twitter, follow #ColombiaPeaceForum.

Please note: The event will be held at the United States Institute of Peace. 

Opening Remarks 

Michael Camilleri 
Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program 
The Inter-American Dialogue 


Paloma Valencia 
Senator, Centro Democrático

Roy Barreras
Senator, Partido de la Unidad Nacional 

Iván Cepeda 
Senator, Polo Democrático Alternativo 


Steve Hege
Senior Expert on Colombia, U.S. Institute of Peace 

Hosted By

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

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