The organization Asociación Colombiana de Estudiantes Universitarios (Association for Colombian University Students) was awarded the Student Peace Prize in 2005 for their work concerning the preservation of public universities, and their nonviolent engagement in the ongoing conflicts in Colombia.
The organization was founded in 1998, and has given many Colombians the opportunity to an education. The political system in Colombia has privatized nearly all schools in the country, which results in that many have had to quit their education because of financial difficulties – especially students from the least privileged groups.
The country has struggled with a civil war between several political and militant groups for more than 40 years, which makes it incredibly dangerous to be involved in student activism. The founding of the ACEU intents to make Colombia a safer place to stand up against the privatization, together rather than alene, and therefore improve the educational situation of many Colombians. In spite the fact that ACEU members have been arrested, tortured and killed because of their work for student rights and peace, they have continued to stand up for improving student’s rights in Colombia.