Colombia’s armed conflict has lasted for more than half a century. The latest negotiations alone took more than four years. Following the rejection by referendum of the first deal in October 2016, the Colombian government and guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) finally reached agreement on a revised deal, which was ratified on December 1, 2016. This agreement aims to bring an end to a conflict in which more than 220,000 people have been killed and which has caused the internal displacement of nearly six million, as well as 60,000 disappearances.
However, there are still many challenges in enforcing the agreement. Particular care needs to be taken over the processes for dealing with the past, but also over resolving social conflicts, the inclusion of civil society, women and young people in the peace process, and the compatibility between economic interests and the defense of human rights. Only time will tell whether this agreement, which many people claim is innovative, is truly capable of bringing lasting peace to Colombia.
Marie Seidel, editor