Colombia. Peace, a learning process

Forty years of protracted armed conflict in Colombia will not have been in vain if the many significant peace and reconciliation initiatives implemented through those years can be turned into lessons informing the future peace process in the country. This assumption is at the core of the editorial project ?Colombia Peace Process: Alternatives to War?, undertaken by Mauricio García-Durán S.J. within the framework of ?Accord? and with the collaboration of the Jesuit Social Centre CINEP. ?Accord? is an initiative developed by Conciliation Resources, an international organisation that reaches out to groups in areas of armed conflict. Fr Garcia-Duran?s work analyses the multifaceted nature of the conflict and, building on the experience of the past 25 years, develops strategies that can lead to peace. It aims at bringing together the voices of a diverse group of Colombians who have attempted to evaluate such efforts and initiatives. Their articles confirm that non-violent transformation of the conflict is possible, and that Colombian society possesses the potential, dynamism and experience needed for this task. The publication also contains a useful analysis of the obstacles faced while engaging in peace initiatives and negotiations, as well as suggestions for overcoming these in the future. The conclusion that emerges is that there can be a peaceful resolution of the Colombian conflict through an integral and participatory process that can, and must, be negotiated. Besides the CINEP-aided initiative that has led to the publication in English and Spanish of ?Alternatives to War?, the Accord project, in collaboration with the Jesuit-related initiative Programa por la Paz (PxP), is preparing an educational package based on the information and analysis in the volume so as to reach a wider public. [HL40203] Mauricio García-Durán S.J., political expert and PhD candidate in Peace Studies at the University of Bradford (UK), has been working since 1990 at CINEP, researching peace processes and civil initiatives, and collaborates with the PxP on different initiatives and projects. . For more information on Accord, visit: