According to figures from Indepaz, an institute dedicated to research and training on peace and development issues, there were 117 social leaders, human rights defenders and activists deaths in 2016. This year alone eight people have been killed.
Human rights organisations sound the alarm over a spike in attacks and murders of activists as armed gangs capitalise on opportunities provided by rural turmoil.
The new year for Colombia begins with the first major steps towards peace, following the historic signing of an agreement between the government and the FARC last year. Emma Newbery examines some of the teething problems and how they are being addressed.
On January 1, the minimum wage in Colombia increased by 7% from the 2016 rate. Unions say that the rise – less than 50,000 pesos per month – does not meet the rise in the costs of living caused by inflation and tax reforms.
Former Agriculture Minister Andrés Felipe Arias, who was found guilty of misallocating hundreds of millions of dollars in government subsidies, may be forced to return.
The trial of Rafael Uribe Noguera, who has been charged with aggravated femicide, kidnapping and rape, is set to begin on January 11. If he is found guilty, he could serve up to 60 years – the maximum sentence allowed by Colombian law.
The murder of Yuliana Andrea Samboní has shocked the nation. Daniel Ogalde argues that it is a reflection of inequalities that have been exacerbated by conflict, and that the peace agreement is only the first step towards healing Colombian society.
On November 30 the Colombian congress ratified the new peace agreement with the FARC, marking the end of over half a decade of conflict and the beginning of a new challenge.
A Colombian hacking scandal which shook the political establishment to its core following the last presidential election in 2014 has re-surfaced and may bring with it a series of aftershocks.
While the ‘No’ vote presented a major setback on the road towards peace and raised a lot of post-plebiscite questions, there is also the small hope that it could represent an opportunity to lay a stronger foundation for an agreement, with more buy-in from this divided society.