ADESCOP - Associacion de Desplazados para la Convivencia Pacifica (Association of Displaced People for Peaceful Coexistence) - was established in the late 1990’s to assist displaced families who settled in and around Bogota and was the first such organization to incorporate ‘peace’ into its name. ADESCOP assisted recently arrived internally displaced people to access government assistance programs for basic services such as food, shelter and clothing. For recent arrivals from rural areas, just finding a government agency in a city of 8 million was a daunting task. ADESCOP helped the new arrivals to assemble the required documentation, find the right government offices and persevere until they obtained the assistance proscribed by law.
While ADESCOP recognized the need for the next step in helping displaced families move beyond dependency, micro-credit loans proved to be premature for ADESCOP families. Many of the families were still transient, their communities were volatile, and the ADESCOP leadership was preoccupied with securing government assistance for basic human needs. There was little time to screen micro-loan applications or mentor loan recipients. The ADESCOP partnership ended in 2002 when its leaders went into exile in Canada in response to credible threats of violence.