Colombian citizens, victims, ex-combatants, Colombian government, academia
A new legal system was developed to process the over 7 million self-identified victims of the conflict and deliver sentences to all guilty parties. The engineered system includes calculated timelines of when judges will be onboarded and trained, when sentences will begin to take effect, when victims will start to be compensated, and more.
Peace Engineering Takeaway
Setting clear expectations of what and when the judicial system will output is a way to engage all actors and mitigate conflict. Colombia’s conflict has been ongoing for over 50 years, and the burdens of long-term violence are visible in all aspects of society: other guerilla groups are still active and 50 years of resentment and misconceptions linger. No conflict is fully over through diplomatic gestures, such as signing a treaty, therefore controlling the rise of conflict in the post-treaty process is crucial. Distrust in the government has been a common Colombian stressor in the past and thus must be avoided. To achieve this, the committee to create the new legal system and its processes was made up of 13 people: 12 lawyers, and one engineer. “What this means is that here in Colombia they are already taking into account [engineers’] work and each time it’s sounding less exotic [to them].” - Camilo Olaya. The effectiveness of the newly developed legal system will be conflict transformation in action.