Journalists being targeted and the shadow of FARC.
Colombian authorities have signed a new peace accord with FARC rebels, after the previous agreement was rejected in a national referendum in October.
The new deal between the Colombian government and FARC rebels was stricken in Havana, Cuba on Saturday.
“We have reached a new final agreement to end the armed conflict, which includes changes, clarifications and input from a variety of walks of life, which we considered successively,” Cuban Ambassador to Colombia, Ivan Mora, said after the talks.
In a shock result, Colombians rejected a peace accord to end five decades of conflict. Does that mean a return to violence? Or can progressive forces build upon the innovations of the peace process? Tatiana Garavito takes stock.
The chief negotiator had been clear. If voters did not ratify the peace accord between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government, then the country would be left staring into an ‘abyss’. There was no Plan B.
And on the night of 2 October it looked as if that abyss had opened up as the ‘no’ vote won by the narrowest of margins – 50.2 to 49.8 per cent.
Despite the deal reached between the Colombian government and the Marxist FARC guerrilla to lay down arms, there is a new cause of concern: what the several other criminal groups that operate in the country will do faced with such a power vacuum.
The famous rebel group has been responsible for a large number of killing, attacks, kidnappings, displacements, and other crimes in Colombia for the past five decades. But even if FARC surrenders, there is no shortage of armed groups that could continue this kind of violence.
In Colombia there are four prominent criminal organizations besides FARC that fight over the control of territories. Most, if not all of them, finance their activities through drug trafficking, and they all have a clear political ideology.
Flawed Justice Deal Risks Sustainable Peace
The agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas on August 24, 2016, to end their 52-year conflict is an unprecedented opportunity to curtail abuses in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. But it includes a serious defect that risks its unraveling: a flawed victims’ agreement reached in December 2015, that could guarantee impunity for those responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes.
Peace talks with guerrillas, which began in October 2012, involved partial agreements on five points in the agenda in addition to ending the conflict. They include political participation, victims’ rights, and drug policy. The government will hold a national plebiscite to approve the agreement in the coming weeks.
The Colombian government and FARC rebels have officially reached an historic peace deal, bringing an end to a 50-year war.
The accord, announced in Havana, Cuba, on Wednesday, requires the Colombian government to carry out substantive land reform and overhaul its drug trafficking policies. It also requires Bogota to expand state services into rural sections of the country.
Negotiators Visited Rural Locations Where Demobilized Guerrilla Members Will Transition to Civilian Life
A charter flight took off from Havana, Cuba to Bogotá, Colombia this Monday, August 8, carrying 17 FARC guerillas who had taken part in the negotiations with the government.
They were on their way to visit, along with Colombian government officials and Norwegian arbiters, concentrated locations in which demobilized FARC members may live after the peace talks.
Additionally, United Nations officials reportedly negotiated overseeing the removal of weapons by FARC.
FARC’s Final Request Could Make or Break Peace Talks
A new requirement has been added to the peace agreement between the guerilla group FARC and the Colombian government.
FARC reportedly wants the release of 9,000 prisoners, that, if not agreed to, would end the peace process.
Guerrilla leader Carlos Antonio Lozada, who was in Colombia to visit the villages for FARC members after disarmament, confirmed the new request.
“If there’s no amnesty, there will be no final agreement, it is that simple,” he said. “If there is an amnesty law, there will be no final agreement and if there is no agreement there will be no mobilization of those zones.”
Colombia’s Constitutional Court Issues Regulations for Yes/No Vote on Guerilla Peace Talks
The Constitutional Court of Colombia — in charge of constitutional revision to laws and public initiatives — approved the FARC peace process referendum July 18.
Magistrate Luis Ernesto Vargas wrote a positive opinion draft of the referendum, meaning that after studying the proposal, he told the other eight justices the referendum was in accordance with the Colombian legal system.
Afterward, there was a debate in which the approval of the referendum being yes/no — a 7-2 decision.
Alleged FARC Commander Tells Men to “Prepare to Rule” New Socialist Enclaves
In a video published by Bogotá city councilman Daniel Palacios an alleged commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is seen talking to his underlings.
He is apparently trying to lecture guerrilla troops about the FARC’s current peace negotiations with President Juan Manuel Santos which are taking place in Havana, Cuba. His version of the peace accords, however, is at odds with the official government line.
The Drug Trade and the Illegal Economy Will Continue to Fuel Violence in Colombia
The announcement of a “historic” deal reached between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) caused euphoria as President Santos claimed it was the end to over 50 years of conflict. But it’s important to highlight four caveats.
Understanding the real scope and consequences of the peace process with FARC is particularly important because Colombians will have to vote in a referendum in order to approve the final deal.
Critics Claims Juan Manuel Santos Has Become Too Close with Guerrilla Leaders
Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos announced on Thursday, June 16, that he possesses information confirming that FARC guerrilla members are preparing to renew hostilities should the ongoing peace talks with the government fail.
“How do I know we will be back to war? We have confirmed information that they’re prepared to go back to war, and specifically urban war, which is more demolishing than rural war. This is a reality, I know it, and this is why it’s so important that we reach an agreement,” the president warned Colombians.
Santos sent a call to the nation to unite forces to achieve the peace agreements.
The Colombian Government and Guerilla Group Also Reach Deal for Release of Members Under 15.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) announced they will no longer recruit children under 15 years of age to be part of its insurgent group officials announced Sunday, May 15.
The Colombian government and FARC agreed to the discharge of members under 15, in accordance with the peace process taking place in Havana.