Solutions to Violent Conflict

Approaching the End of a Fifty-Year Conflict

In Colombia, Peace Accords, Peacebuilding on January 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Jennifer McCoy

Jennifer McCoy is Distinguished University Professor at Georgia State University and Director of the Carter Center’s Americas Program. She has met frequently with negotiators and other Colombian actors during peace talks.

The year 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), and thus the 50th year of continuous violent conflict in Colombia. Now in their 26th month of formal talks, the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC have reached a delicate but propitious stage to end the conflict and begin the long arduous task of peace implementation. The children born in 2015 could be the first Colombians in generations who will not know war.

The talks have achieved agreements on some issues and now are addressing the difficult questions of victims’ rights and the mechanisms to end the conflict. After conducting talks in the midst of war for two years, on December 20 the FARC announced an indefinite unilateral ceasefire. On January 14 President Santos instructed his military negotiators to analyze the possibilities for a bilateral ceasefire.

Colombian Peace Process: Bridging Research and Practice

In Colombia, Peace Accords, Peacebuilding on January 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Photo: Rainbow over Bogotá by PradaDearest (Flickr, July 10, 2013)

John Paul Lederach

John Paul Lederach is an internationally known peacebuilder and teacher who contributes to the Peace Accords Matrix at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

In October 2012, formal talks between the Colombian government and the largest armed insurgency in the country were launched in Oslo and soon after transferred to Havana. Supported by Cuban and Norwegian facilitators, these negotiations were the first serious attempt in more than a decade to end the half-century war. In the past two years the talks have made important progress and have seen innovations on several fronts.

Colombia, from a Mediator’s Perspective

In Colombia, Peace Accords, Peacebuilding on January 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Francisco Diez

Francisco Diez has extensive experience mediating conflicts throughout Latin America and is actively working on the Colombia peace process.

Colombia is a country of contrasts. While military dictatorships and foreign indebtedness characterized most of the continent during the latter half of the 20th century, Colombia experienced democratic regimes and kept its finances under control. Yet it was also the only country in the region with a strong guerrilla movement that remained active for decades.

The political elites and social leaders of Colombia are among the most intelligent and educated men and women in the world. The country’s entrepreneurs and traders are among the most successful, and they have produced wealth and a reasonable level of development. Yet the economy has been plagued by drug production and trafficking.

A COMPLEX SOCIETY

In Colombia the institutional framework of democracy and the separation of powers are firmly established. Modernity and technology have reached most of its cities. Yet in much of the countryside, life and personal integrity are in constant danger, the institutions of the state are largely absent, and legality is selective at best.

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