Relatives hold a vigil in memory of their relative who was murdered. Christian Aid partner the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace helped the community to set up a humanitarian zone to protect itself from further attacks and to fight for justice.

Christian Aid in Colombia

Christian Aid has been working with partners in Colombia on tackling violence and building peace for more than 20 years.

Christian Aid Colombia works with local partners who are among the most important organisations in the social movement – they have a permanent presence in key regions and strong links with local communities.

Following the signing of a peace agreement in 2016 between the Colombian Government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), we are increasingly moving our focus from tackling violence to building peace.

We have been tackling violence through our work on resilience, protection and the fight against impunity for years while attempting to build peace in the midst of the armed conflict. Our partners are well positioned to continue to engage closely with the peace process.

We will continue to speak out with our partners to support civil society peace-building initiatives, to establish dialogue with authorities and to change the structures that perpetuate violence, inequality and human suffering.

Our areas of expertise

Protection of partners, communities and human rights defenders

We build the capacity of partners, communities and human rights defenders to protect themselves while also raising their profile to prevent and reduce the threat of violence and attacks.

Peace building 

We work to build peace through transitional justice, with a focus on victims' rights to truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of no repetitions. 

Gender justice

This includes addressing gender-based violence; challenging existing gender norms; supporting women to gain access and control over resources; and helping women participate directly in political processes at all levels, including local and national peace building.

Fiscal justice

Inequality is one of the root causes of the internal armed conflict, which needs to be addressed through fiscal justice - this is about more than tax or budget systems, it is about power, politics and helping people to fight inequality. We want to ensure public money is directed to the poorest and most vulnerable groups, and there is a progressive tax system where the rich pay more and the poor less.

'The war brought us together and forced us to organise. We came together to make a list of demands but the main thing is unity. Without unity you are weak. Together we are strong. We came together to organise and protect our rights.'
Community member supported by Christian Aid

Our aims

Our Christian Aid Colombia programme aims to:

  • Build communities' resilience by helping them claim their rights, particularly their right to land and territory.
  • Help to hold the state to account, make it more responsive to civil society and actively protect of human rights defenders, including local leaders.

ColombiaFatherAlberto4004942.jpgFather Alberto Franco, a leading member of our partner organisation the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace Commission (CIJP). His work empowering communities affected by conflict has made him the target of death threats.  


Building Peace

Our partners involvement during the peace talks was critical and their presence helped to facilitate the participation of conflict-affected communities and victims, giving them a voice in the negotiations.

For example, before the publication of the final text of the peace accords, our partner Compaz, was called to work on the ethnic perspectives in the agreements to ensure the interests of indigenous and black communities are protected, especially around access to and control over land and ensuring autonomous governance structures were safeguarded and reaffirmed in the peace agreement.

Likewise, our partners also contributed significantly to the strong gender justice provisions in the peace agreement.

Bringing perpetrators of crimes to justice

Our partners have brought several high level cases to the courts, including our partner CCAJAR who legally represented the family of a famous journalist and peace activist Jaime Garzon, who was killed by paramilitaries with links to the army and the secret service.

As a result of the case, a high court sentenced the state as responsible for the killing and a crime against humanity, because it took place in the context of generalised attacks by state agents against individuals in the 1990’s who were seen as sympathisers with the insurgents. Our partners have also brought other high level perpetrators of crimes to justice, including army generals.

Land rights

Access to land is key to peace building and jointly our partners have helped rural communities obtain access to more than 500,000 hectares of land. 


Wateuma Casamasiningui belongs to the Embera indigenous group in Colombia. Along with another 1,200 Embera people she led a march to protect their sacred hill. They faced the army and were determined not to allow mining in their territory. With support from our partner the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace, the Embera marched peacefully and forced the mining companies out of their land.

Our programmes and donors

Christian Aid Colombia is working on projects funded by institutional and other key donors and also receives funding through our supporters in the UK and Ireland, by individual donors, trusts and foundations. 

Irish Aid

Irish Aid has traditionally been, and continues to be, a major donor for Christian Aid’s Colombia programme. Irish Aid supports our work on gender justice, the protection of human rights defenders, tax justice and helps communities to gain or maintain control of their land, or claim it back, in the face of threats from the agro and extractive industries and ongoing armed conflict.

Current and Past Programmes

Women winnow grain

In Their Lifetime (ITL)


Christian Aid has worked in Colombia since the 1980s. Our essential mission is to expose structural and physical violence and challenge the systems that prevent the fulfilment of human rights for all.
We have worked in Latin America and the Caribbean for more than 30 years, supporting our partners to tackle injustice, human rights violations and inequality.
Christian Aid ha trabajado en Colombia desde 1980. Nuestra misión principal es exponer la violencia estructural y física y desafiar los sistemas que evitan el cumplimiento de los derechos humanos de todas y todos.
Hemos trabajado en América Latina y el Caribe por más de 30 años, apoyando a nuestras contrapartes para enfrentar la injusticia, las violaciones a los derechos humanos y la desigualdad.
Highlights how inequality affects people in Latin America
Describe las diferentes caras de la desigualdad en America Latina y el Caribe
Inequality in Latin America and the Carribean is deep and widespread. This publication seeks to report on the policies driving improvements and what more needs to be done. (Please note a new version - 2 - is now available.)
View more resources

Recent News

Closer to peace: Colombia's second largest guerilla group start public phase of peace negotiations

February 2017: The Colombian government and the second largest guerrilla group in Colombia, the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional – ELN) initiated the public phase of the Peace Talks, in Quito, Ecuador.

Claiming victory over 'chop houses' in Colombia

October 2016: In Their Lifetime (ITL) board member Melanie Farquharson and Chair David Paterson joined Christian Aid’s International Director Paul Valentin to witness the growing impact of humanitarian spaces in Buenaventura.

Our People

Thomas Mortensen
Thomas Mortensen

Colombia Country Manager

I'm Christian Aid's Colombia Country Manager and have overall responsibility for the programme design and implementation. I've been with Christian Aid since 2011 and previously worked with the United Nations in India and Nicaragua. I have a Master´s Degree in Development and Economics and post degrees on human rights and international humanitarian law.

Contact us

Christian Aid Colombia is based in Bogotá. We also draw on the expertise of colleagues from our partners, international NGO networks, as well as Christian Aid staff in the UK, Ireland, across Latin America and the Caribbean and further afield. 

+57 1 2851695