The Ethnic Chapter: A Victory for the Communities

The inclusion of an ethnic chapter in the Final Agreement was an answer to the claim of several representatives and leaders from indigenous, black, afro-descendant, Raizal (The Raizal are a Protestant-majority Afro-Caribbean ethnic group living in the department of San Andrés y Providencia who speak an English-based creole language) and Palenquero (Palenquero is a Spanish-based creole language spoken by afro-descendant peoples in the town of San Basilio de Palenque in the department of Bolívar) organizations. The purpose of this chapter was to guarantee the rights of these peoples in the implementation phase for the agreements. This would ensure that any measures are consistent with the institutions, practices and cultures of these peoples, and it recognizes the differential impact that the armed conflict has had among these populations and the need to completely uphold their rights. After receiving proposals from ethnic organizations during the public phase of the process, and after the various meetings in Bogotá and Havana between these organizations and the delegations, the warring parties composed the text for this chapter in the final round of conversations to present and guarantee the incorporation of an ethno-territorial perspective in the implementation of all items from the Final Agreement.