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Colombia: possibilities for peace

Sunday, August 17, 2014


The time in which Colombians can live in peace could be close.

With the start of his second term, President Juan Manuel Santos seeks a successful result to a peace process, which he started in 2012 and with which he hopes to end half a century of armed conflict with the guerrillas.

The process could be jeopardized by several violent acts last month, allegedly perpetrated by the by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – FARC, using the Spanish initials.

However, talks between the government and rebel groups are going ahead.

Santos' goal is to get have Colombia by 2025 be "a country in total peace, equitable and the best educated of Latin America."

In Santos’ plan the FARC and the National Liberation Army - ELN in Spanish - could have a place, if they transform themselves into legitimate political parties.

There are still several important aspects to be defined in negotiations, including compensation for victims, disarmament, and the shutdown by the guerrillas of illicit activities such as drug trafficking.

Santos received significant support in his re-election last month, attesting to the confidence of the Colombian people that his initiative is on the right track.

Santos won 51% of votes, compared to the 45% received by Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who advocated a tough policy with the rebels.

After five decades and 200 thousand dead, Colombia could finally see a future without violence.