Colombia Visit

On 14 December 2023, the WCC delegation joined Colombian Vice Minister of Interior Dr Lilia Solano on a visit to the community of Carrisales, on the municipality of Remedios, department of Antioquia.


Pillay also joined the vice minister of the interior on 14 December on a field trip, via plane and helicopter, to one of the conflict-affected regions of the country. 

In a conversation with Velasco, Pillay reiterated the WCCs support for the initiatives promoted by the minister of interior to advance in dialogue with communities affected by the armed confrontations in rural areas of the country.

The challenges to build peace are great and complex, but what we currently see here in Colombia is a renewed attempt to tackle in an integral way the violence and injustice perpetrated in this country for decades,” said Pillay.

Other topics of the meeting with Velasco included social justice for vulnerable populations, total peace in the territories affected by violence and solidarity with communities that have suffered economic and other types of inequality.

Velasco expressed appreciation for the WCCs current role in the peace process in Colombia. 

The WCC came not only to give us support for this task of total peace that we are engaged in, but also to acknowledge our common commitment to fight against climate change,” added Velasco, who was accompanied by vice minister for social dialogue, equality, and human rights Lilia Solano.

Rev. Vilma Yánez, of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, and a member of the WCC central committee, emphasized the WCCs precepts of Christian unity and the promotion of justice and peace. 

We consider that this type of meeting is very beneficial to us because at the international level we can continue to support all peace initiatives, especially the total peace vision. And one of the things that has become clear to us is that Colombia is expected, at an international level, to support and accompany itself in social conflicts,” she said.

Colombia Visit

on 13 December 2023, the WCC general secretary and delegation were received by the Minister of Interior of Colombia Luis Fernando Velasco.


The next morning, the WCC delegation joined vice minister Solano in a visit to the community of Carrizal, in the municipality of Remedios, department of Antioquia, in northern Colombia. 

Accompanied by representatives of the WCC, the Ministry of Defense and the High Commissioner for peace, among others, Solano led a conversation with community leaders and victims of the violence in the region of Remedios, one of the most militarized rural areas in the country.

The visit to Carrizal has been one of the highlights of this visit to Colombia,” said Pillay. We are thankful to the Ministry of Interior for enabling our delegation to listen to firsthand testimonies of the ones most affected by the conflict in Colombia and the consequences of climate change in this part of Latin America,” he added. 

We welcome the WCC delegation in this process especially because the international presence helps us tremendously in our efforts to fully engage the local communities in the processes that aim to benefit them,” said Solano.

WCC delegation led by general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay  and consisting of Rev. Vilma Yanez, Presbyterian Church of Colombia, member of the WCC central committee; and Peter Prove, director, WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs; Dr h.c. Humberto Shikiya, WCC special envoy for the peace process in Colombia; and Dr Marcelo Schneider, WCC programme executive for communication and church relations.

Voices for peace in Colombia: WCC general secretary draws close partnerships (WCC news release, 14 December 2023)

WCC delegation visits Colombia to strengthen accompaniment of peace process (WCC news release, 11 December 2023)

Photo gallery of the WCC visit to Colombia