Now Reading
LGBT people in Colombia endorse peace deal to end targeted attacks

LGBT people in Colombia endorse peace deal to end targeted attacks

LGBTI people were particularly targeted during the civil war in Colombia

More than 100 LGBTI groups in the South American country have endorsed a controversial peace deal between the Colombia government and FARC.

The war – that began in 1962 and claimed over 200,000 lives – was unofficially ended last year when the FARC announced a unilateral ceasefire.

After extensive talks in Havana, Cuba it’s supposed to be over – pending a public referendum on October 2.

FARC will be allowed to participate as a government party moving forwards.

The deal is controversial because FARC members will not be convicted of any crimes, which include drug trafficking and murder, as long as they confess. This has angered Colombia’s longsuffering citizenry, especially in rural areas.

However, LGBTI groups like Caribe Afirmativo have endorsed the deal. LGBTI people were among those specially targeted by the rebels.

It says on its website: ‘Recognition of and respect for the rights of women, indigenous people, people of African descent, LGBTI and other population groups is necessary for the country to live in peace and to be able to fully develop its citizenry.’

The peace deal also explicitly acknowledges the impact the war has had on LGBTI people, grouping them with other ‘vulnerable groups’ affected.

Wilson Castañeda, director of Caribe Afirmativo, told the Washington Blade he was hopeful about the referendum.

‘We know we can live in peace. This is a very good opportunity for the LGBTI community in Colombia because there is a lot of hate against us,’ he said.

Meanwhile, other groups are antagonizing the deal.

Religious groups have been said to be withholding their endorsement unless the government concede to their demands, which include diminishing the rights of Colombian LGBTI people.