Posted by: cousindampier | 1 November 2016

Midnight Colombian Peace Thoughts

A month ago tomorrow, the Colombia people rejected a settlement to end the longest running Civil War in the Americas.  The Colombian government, led by Juan Manuel Santos, and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) came to an agreement in late September which would essentially re-launch FARC as a political party and avoid much of the legal retribution an end to an internal conflict usually brings.

And then the accord was brought to the Colombian people, who narrowly defeated it, sending four years of work into a tailspin.

One one hand, in A Great Perhaps, David Spencer argues that the FARC are working the peace process to advocate for causes they were unable to win on the battlefield.  In the attempt for peace – Santos’ term runs out in 2018 – the Colombian government has given way on nearly every point to secure a peace agreement, and FARC has not yet retracted its long-stated demand to see a communist Colombia.  The peace treaty, in this sense, is an end-goal for the government and a step towards victory for the FARC.

On the other, as covered by Chapo Trap House, just end the damn war already.  The price of ending a  fifty-year war is worth it.*

Somewhere in the middle lies this Washington Post briefing.  The Post attempts to compare the Colombian Peace accord with similar accords throughout history, but the underlying point is that the Post had to reach down and find three.  The Colombian conflict is not something easily related to other peace accords, especially Brexit.  Colombia and Brexit have about as much in common as Lynyrd Skynyrd and Beethoven.

The intrigue continues, if one may label war in such a passive way.  The government gave ground on a wide scope of items to secure peace.  Now, they get to have some back; and FARC has to decide if they truly desire peace, or if the peace process was simply a way to gain space.

*As far as I can tell, this is the first time Chapo Trap House has been compared to anything associated with David Kilcullen.  I’ve never been prouder, boys and girls.


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