BMFI conducts peacebuilding and development work in the rural areas of Mindanao through partnerships with civil society organisations, local government units, government agencies and other sectors. The focus of its work is towards the building of a Mindanao, which is truly a home (balay) for its three peoples – the Moros, the Lumads (Indigenous Peoples) and the settlers. BMFI also acts as the mediator and Independent Secretariat of the peace process between the Government and the RPM-M, a Mindanao-based revolutionary group.
Exchange project: Philippines and Colombia
Conciliation Resources has been supporting a ‘comparative learning’ project between Colombia and the Philippines since 2005. Although geographically very different places, the conflicts in Colombia and the Philippines share a striking number of similarities and peacebuilding challenges.
Exchange of peacebuilding practitioners
Colombian delegates were impressed by developments in the Philippines in the areas of: mechanisms for civilian monitoring; international support to the peace process; civil-military dialogue and broad consultations with the people. On the other hand, Filipino participants took note of the leading role indigenous organisations play in the peace movement and progress in terms of transitional justice and victim’s rights.
- Individually, participants were challenged to re-assess their thinking and actions in light of different approaches in a country that faces similar challenges.
- The project allows participants the opportunity to improve their peacebuilding skills. Shortly after the visit to Colombia, two of the Filipino delegates were appointed as members of the Government Peace Panel (three participants now sit on the panel).
- At the same time, the project creates connections between people from different social and political constituencies who would otherwise not communicate, thus breaking misperceptions and increasing collaboration within the conflicting societies.
- En procesos bloqueados lo primero es la protección de la población y el protagonismo no violento de la sociedad civil (Camilo González Posso, Director Indepaz)
- Filipinas y Colombia. Aprendizajes mutuos en la diversidad y en los derechos indigenas (Henry Caballero, indigenous leader)
- Los afectos y las oportunidades para la paz (María Gines Quiñones Meneses, community leader)
- Diez lecciones de Filipinas para Colombia (Marta Ruiz, journalist)
- Participacion de la sociedad civil en los procesos de paz – comparacion entre Filipinas y Colombia (Mauricio García Durán, Director CINEP)
- Una mirada al conflicto armado interno en Filipinas – Coincidencias y aprendizajes (Patricia Buriticá, National Commission of Reintegration and Reconciliation)
- Una arquitectura internacional difícil de imitar (Tathiana Montaña, university professor)
- El auge de la minería en Colombia y Filipinas (Yamile Salinas Abdala, expert on land issues)
- Summary of Colombian reflections: Los procesos de paz en Filipinas – un referente para Colombia? (Kristian Herbolzheimer, Conciliation Resources)
- Impressions and reflections on the Colombia-Philippines exchange visit program (Ariel Hernandez, Balay Mindanaw)
- A peacebuilder’s journey: Some reflections on the Colombia trip (Belle Garcia, Balay Mindanaw)
- What shall I write about? (Bong Montesa, Art for Peace)
- Colombia visit: Personal thoughts (Col. Lysander Suerte, Philippine Army)
- Reflections on Colombia’s land conflict from a peace and development framework (Antoinette Raquiza, university professor)
Also see the paper: Introductory remarks to the meeting on women’s participation in peace processes, EPLO and European Commission, 23 November 2010, Brussels.
I never met a General before. Now we are friends and we have a different perspective – a more respectful and constructive one – about each other’s work.
María Gines Quiñonez, Afro-Colombian community leader in Nariño province
The INDEPAZ Foundation is a non-governmental organisation that works to encourage a climate of reconciliation, dialogue, non-violence and regard for human life, with respect for social justice, human rights and human dignity.