Small Wars Journal

Is Colombia's Fragile Peace Breaking Apart?

Is Colombia's Fragile Peace Breaking Apart? By Ted Piccone - Brookings Institution

The historic peace agreement between the government of Colombia and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionaras de Colombia—Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP), the country’s largest armed rebel force—is facing its most serious test yet. The accords ended over 50 years of a conflict that killed at least 260,000 Colombians and displaced nearly seven and a half million people. This historic achievement, widely applauded by the international community and key sectors of Colombian society, nonetheless has encountered major challenges in political legitimacy and implementation.

 

After an initial and largely successful phase of demobilization and disarmament, the country’s main actors are struggling with the more costly and destabilizing stages of reintegration of ex-fighters, soaring illicit drug production, rural underdevelopment, and reparations to victims.

 

The most daunting challenge, however, is posed by the accord’s complex approach to truth, justice, and reconciliation. Recent events suggest that President Iván Duque Márquez, elected last June on promises to revise key provisions of the accord, is determined to undermine the pact’s central bargain of peace for conditional amnesty in order to satisfy his conservative coalition partners who never fully accepted the deal. And guerrillas who never signed up for or have since left the arrangement are pairing up with other criminal armed groups to destabilize a security environment already under growing strain from the influx of over 1.2 million people fleeing the crisis in Venezuela…

Read on.