Assistance in Chocó
The project seeks to contribute to the constructive transformation of conflicts by strengthening development alternatives from the perspective of the Afro-Colombian, Mestizo, and indigenous ethnic populations in the Department of Chocó.
To achieve this, it operates in the Lower Atrato and the five sub-regions of Chocó, in order to strengthen autonomy and cultural identity in the ethnic-territorial organizations and promote an economic and political environment that guarantees those populations the return to or permanence in their ancestral territories, as well as the enjoyment of their rights, in conformity with their worldviews.
The project builds on the almost 15 years of CINEP/PPP work (1996) in the Lower Atrato region, which began due to the forced displacement suffered by the communities in 1997 as a result of the escalation of the armed conflict. During the last five years, the project has been present in the entire Department of Chocó, thus adding to the specific support provided by various CINEP/PPP projects, among them the Human Rights Database, for over two decades.
This work has entailed the creation and strengthening of ethnic-territorial organizations, such as the Asociación de Consejos Comunitarios y Organizaciones del Bajo Atrato (ASCOBA) (Association of Community Councils and Organizations of the Lower Atrato) and participation in the consolidation of social dynamics such as the Foro Interétnico Solidaridad Chocó (FISCH) (Inter-Ethnic Solidarity Forum of Chocó), in order to implement political strategies that favor a safe environment to demand enforcement of Integrated Human Rights before the Government, in alliance with the Church and other cooperating institutions.
The project is executed through four strategies:
This strategy seeks to support and strengthen the ethnic- territorial organizations in Chocó, so that, on the basis of an understanding of their socioeconomic reality, they can propose initiatives for sustainable development. This is achieved by strengthening evaluation, advocacy, and citizen participation in regional public policies, and coordinating their ethno-development and life plans from the perspective of the enforcement of their Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights. In this context, assistance was provided to the Fondo Rotatorio de la Asociación de Consejos Comunitarios y Organizaciones del Bajo Atrato (ASCOBA) (Association of Community Councils and Organizations of the Lower Atrato Revolving Fund), an organization aimed at offering credit and microcredit possibilities to communities affected by the armed and social conflicts.
This strategy helps the ethnic- territorial organizations of the Lower Atrato understand their territorial reality and identify risks, conflicts, and threats, so that they may carry out legal, political, social, and cultural actions aimed at recovering their territory.
Analysis of the Social and Armed Conflicts
Workshops are carried out to analyze the dynamics that lead to social and armed conflict in the region, in order to strengthen the Peace Agenda of the communities and organizations participating in the Foro Interétnico de Solidaridad Chocó (Inter-Ethnic Solidarity Forum of Chocó).
Establishment of Strategic Alliances
The objective is to consolidate strategic alliances with ethnic- territorial and Church organizations in Chocó and the Pacific Coast in order to carry out joint programs and projects in the field of social research, support, education, communication and advocacy in the public sphere.
Juan Pablo Guerrero