Lights and shadows of the peace agreement, five years later

The Colombian peace agreement has lights and shadows but Five years after it was signed, and despite the obstacles, it is consolidated as an opportunity for national reconciliation and as a model for the world.

(They would remove the FARC from the US list of terrorist groups).

The conviction that “an unjust peace is better than a just war” seems to have prevailed among the majority of Colombians because, despite the fact that there is no shortage of criticism from both sides of the agreement itself or its implementation, They recognize that it is progress and this has been revealed this week at the commemorative events of the fifth anniversary.

This is because although other sources of conflict persist in the country, The agreement with the FARC has served to stop the 52-year-old one with that guerrilla group that left most of the more than 8.5 million victims, including dead, wounded, kidnapped, disappeared and displaced.

(The world calls for the preservation of peace in Colombia).

The peace agreement, signed on November 24, 2016 by the then president Juan Manuel Santos and Rodrigo Londoño, the last head of the Farc, It has constitutional status, so it is mandatory, and its implementation is scheduled for a period of 15 years.

For Yann Basset, professor of Political Science at the Universidad del Rosario, one of the aspects to be highlighted is that most of the more than 13,000 demobilized members of the FARC have continued their reintegration into society.

“What is true is that despite the spectacular return to illegality of some visible leaders such as Iván Márquez (…) most of the guerrillas have continued with their processes of reintegration into civilian life”, Basset argues.

The dissidents are mostly guerrillas who never joined the process and formed new groups that continue to recruit young people and children in the camps.

The professor also values ​​the role of transitional justice where “progress has been shown” through macro-cases in which crimes such as kidnapping, forced recruitment and other crimes committed in the internal armed conflict are prosecuted. Regarding the setbacks of the implementation, remember that it is a long-term project so “We will have to wait for other governments” hopefully with a more favorable trend towards the implementation of these agreements “.


An important recognition is that of the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, who in his visit this week to Colombia confirmed the progress of the agreement and ratified the support of the international organization for peace in Colombia as an exemplary experience.

“Taking stock today, we can confidently affirm that the implementation of the peace process is taking deep roots”, Guterres said Wednesday at the anniversary ceremony.

He reinforced saying that “In a world marked by conflicts, many of them with no end in sight, a peace agreement negotiated to end a conflict that many believed to be unsolvable is unique and extremely valuable.”

So optimistic is the UN chief that in a subsequent statement he said that the case of Colombia inspires him to do “an urgent appeal to the protagonists of the conflict in Ethiopia” stop making a “immediate and unconditional ceasefire to save the country.”

Former President Santos, the architect of the agreement and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has stressed that, although there is a lack of security for the demobilized, 296 of whom were murdered in these five years, 95% of the ex-combatants are still in the process and the Special Justice for Peace (JEP) has constructed seven macro-cases with 1,000 appearing parties, while the Truth Commission has listened to more than 26,000 people.

Regarding the murders, the Colombian president, Iván Duque, said that “sadly this has been a phenomenon present in many peace processes” in which many of the signatories of the agreements have subsequently been assassinated.

According to Duque, this is a “history of pain that has been present in the reincorporation processes in Colombia”, for which he called for the dismantling of the criminal organizations behind these murders.


For Colombia, it is imperative to continue advancing in the implementation of the peace agreement built on six points: comprehensive rural reform, political participation, end of conflict, solution to the problem of illicit drugs, victims and implementation, verification and endorsement.

Regarding political reform, Basset recalled that the commission that deals with this issue wrote a report that “It has been shelved” and that the Duque government proposed its own version of political reform that was not approved either and then “absolutely nothing happened there.”

He also sees that agrarian reform and land restitution have not advanced much and, “on the contrary, they have had many obstacles.” The expert concludes that the celebrations “have a lot of politics, but specifically on the ground there is a lot of concern about the implementation of the agreement.”


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Lights and shadows of the peace agreement, five years later