Something that is noticeable about Colombian social and political organisations on the left is that they involve themselves in ‘processes’. This includes processes with each other, meaning that they establish ways to work together for common ends.
I have just been to the Regional Congress for Peace, a forum to feed into the national Congress for Peace to be held here in Bogotá in April.
It is possible that this people’s congress will be entirely ignored, but it is interesting to see so many organisations working together. The student organisation MANE is also an organisation of organisations, and similar networks exist around the country.
It’s something I haven’t seen much of in the UK: long term, even permanent democratic processes created to enable organisations to work together. In Colombia some have been working together for decades and now have impressive organisational skills.
I imagine it is very hard to make it work at the beginning, ensuring everyone stays on good terms with each other despite their ideological differences, but in Colombia at least it does work and it seems to magnify the ability of social movement organisations to make an impact.