2005 // ACEU
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 Colombian people the opportunity to get an education. The political system in Colombia has privatized nearly all schools in the country, which results in that many have to quit their education because of financial difficulties – especially many from the poorest group. The fact that the country has struggled with a civil war between several political and militant groups for more than 40 years, makes it incredibly dangerous to be involved in student activism. The founding of the ACEU therefore improved the educational situation for many people in Colombia, and has been a safer way to stand up against the situation in the country, rather than young people doing it by themselves. ACEU members have been arrested, tortured and killed because of the work they have done for students and peace, but regardless of all this, they have continued to stand up for student’s rights and generally for improving the conditions in Colombia.