After four years of up-and-down negotiations, the Colombian government and the rebel FARC guerrillas signed a peace agreement in late 2016. To implement it, the country needs to deploy major financial, infrastructure, institutional and human resources to reverse the inequalities that sustained the conflict. Working with all parties since 2002, Crisis Group has published more than 30 full reports on the five-decade old war. We help those trying to end the conflict by tracking and analysing security threats, as well as the different peace processes over time. We aim to make sure decision-makers and the public share the same impartial, credible information about the commitments needed for peace to take hold.
Revised and ratified after its shock rejection in October 2016’s referendum, Colombia’s peace agreement still lacks sustainable political support. Reversing public distrust will need swift and effective implementation of the accord – including full apologies for past crimes and the visible handover of weapons by insurgents.
FARC completed its movements into cantonments 19 Feb, with 6,900 FARC fighters in 26 zones throughout country, many of which still lack infrastructure. Arms handover to begin 1 March, though public spat between UN mission, govt and FARC, as well as lack of progress, may lead to delays. Approval of new legislation to implement peace agreement continued, with law to create Special Jurisdiction for Peace presented to Congress and sent through required committees throughout Feb. Formal peace talks with ELN guerrilla group began 8 Feb. Govt and ELN 16 Feb announced they had decided to create two commissions at peace talks: one will discuss mechanisms for wider social participation in talks; second will discuss humanitarian issues, with aim of reducing effects of ELN conflict on population. ELN carried out attack 14 Feb along Bogotá-Villavicencio road which left four soldiers injured, and bombing in Bogotá 19 Feb which killed one policemen and wounded at least 25; allegedly carried out attack against governor’s motorcade in NE. Group also stated it would fill power vacuums left by FARC, supposedly at behest of communities and to prevent “paramilitary groups” from doing same. Social leaders continued to be killed at heightened levels, bringing total to at least thirteen in 2017, and 40 since Oct plebiscite. Govt’s coca eradication program met resistance; community in southern department Caquetá 2 Feb detained fourteen policemen to prevent them from eradicating, released next day; violent protests against eradication in SW town Tumaco continue. Some pre-agreements for coca substitution signed in Caquetá, Vichada and Putumayo.
To convert August’s historic peace deal into a durable end to 52 years of conflict, the government and FARC rebels must redouble efforts to achieve a full cessation of hostilities, a successful plebiscite, and UN-monitored ceasefire and weapons handover process.
Recent advances have given Colombia’s peace talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) a much-needed respite, but, amid an escalation of violence, the risks of an involuntary collapse are real. Saving the process requires conflict de-escalation, swift progress on the agenda and rallying popular support.
As they move toward a final peace agreement, the negotiators of the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) face the challenge of laying out a credible path for guerrilla fighters to abandon arms and reintegrate into society.
Bringing the National Liberation Army (ELN) into the current round of negotiations is vital for durable peace.
To secure a lasting peace, talks between Colombia’s government and FARC rebels need to include a clear, credible and coherent plan for reckoning with decades of human rights abuses.
[The FARC rebel leader] “Pollo” wanted to return to the peace process since at least January, and in March he submitted a list of 333 dissident militia members who wanted to surrender.
The ELN [in Colombia] has still not renounced kidnapping. They might kidnap someone else in the future and we'll be back in the same difficulties.
Not everyone is going to be happy, but I still expect there to be a positive reaction in general [to the revised Colombian peace deal]. We do have an agreement, and I would expect there to be more political pressure on the opposition to accept this new agreement as well.
It's highly unlikely Colombia will achieve peace if Santos and Uribe themselves don't make peace.
[En Colombia], la restitución de tierras topará, en primer lugar, con la falta de infraestructura institucional y, en segundo, con la dificultad de encontrar los terrenos que se prevé repartir
El precio de acceder a penas reducidas es una colaboración plena y voluntaria con la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, es decir, lo que se pierde en términos de castigo se ganará en verdad.
Originally published in Colombia Reports
El anuncio de la instalación de la mesa ha producido mucha expectativa, pero el tiempo para negociar parece ser muy corto y la inmadurez política que ha demostrado esta guerrilla podría complicar aún más el panorama.
Originally published in Razon Publica
Los colombianos han dejado claro que quieren la paz. El referéndum del 2 de octubre obliga a reabrir la negociación para incluir algunas de las demandas implícitas en el voto del No. La dificultad está en negociar mientras el reloj apunta a las presidenciales de 2018.
Originally published in Política Exterior
International Crisis Group congratulates Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on his recognition as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. The award comes at a crucial moment as the peace process hangs in the balance, and should encourage all sides in Colombia to seek a rapid end to the war.