Queering Colombia’s Peace Process: A Case Study of LGBTI Inclusion

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This resource is relevant for humanitarian and development practitioners engaged in post-conflict reconstruction and peace building because it speaks to the specific challenges of creating equitable peace processes in societies with deep inequalities.

This capstone paper considers the experiences and role of Colombia’s LGBTI community in the peace process. The paper draws upon interviews with LGBTI activists in Bogotá conducted during an internship undertaken as part of the author’s master’s course and through the case study of a conference for LGBTI victim/survivors of the conflict.

As this is a capstone paper, the literature review and background very thorough, with a contextual framing of Colombia’s conflict, analytical framework and research methodology. The paper then moves into a consideration of interviews and the work of Colombia Diversa, a local LGBTI advocacy organisation.

Through these interviews, the extent of social prejudice and violence against the LGBTI community is revealed. Several interviewees pointed to specific transitional justice mechanisms –such as the 2011 Victims and Land Restitution Law–have supported women’s rights movements, but not LGBTI movements. The paper then considers the inclusion of LGBTI organisations in peace negotiations. The issue of urbanity vs rurality is explored, with specific attention to the violence and discrimination LGBTI people in rural areas face.

The author offers a reflection on their experience as a researcher within the conference and convening spaces. The paper offers a series of conclusions as well as recommendations for further research.

[Quote]

"Impunity may partially be the result of another area of insufficiency within
institutional structures: inadequate or nonexistent legal protections. Caribe Afirmativo
identified that public policy does not explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression."

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This capstone paper considers the experiences and role of Colombia’s LGBTI community in the peace process. The paper draws upon interviews with LGBTI activists in Bogotá conducted during an internship undertaken as part of the author’s master’s course and through the case study of a conference for LGBTI victim/survivors of the conflict.

As this is a capstone paper, the literature review and background very thorough, with a contextual framing of Colombia’s conflict, analytical framework and research methodology. The paper then moves into a consideration of interviews and the work of Colombia Diversa, a local LGBTI advocacy organisation.

Through these interviews, the extent of social prejudice and violence against the LGBTI community is revealed. Several interviewees pointed to specific transitional justice mechanisms –such as the 2011 Victims and Land Restitution Law–have supported women’s rights movements, but not LGBTI movements. The paper then considers the inclusion of LGBTI organisations in peace negotiations. The issue of urbanity vs rurality is explored, with specific attention to the violence and discrimination LGBTI people in rural areas face.

The author offers a reflection on their experience as a researcher within the conference and convening spaces. The paper offers a series of conclusions as well as recommendations for further research.