End to decades-long conflict
The Colombian government has signed a peace deal with the long-existing rebel group FARC, following the results of the referendum.
The news comes after the Colombian government signed a peace treaty in Havana, Cuba. This treaty – signed on 12 November 2016 – puts an end to a civil conflict which has lasted decades. The peace treaty has now been amended as many Colombians initially rejected in through the referendum. Thus, the ‘no vote’ resulted in the amendment of 56 of 57 issues in the new agreement.
As a result, Colombians are now involved in debate which argues in support and opposition of this new deal. Many insist that the peace accord has wrongfully allowed the left-wing guerrilla group to avoid punishment for their criminal activities. However, others see this new deal as a sign of progression. This is particularly as the ending of armed conflict demonstrates that Colombia is moving in the right direction – forward.
FARC – The Revolutionary armed forces of Colombia – has existed since 1964, with its origins dating back to the civil war. The group rose in rejection of liberalism and conservatism, in aim of starting a communist revolution. Over the span of 52 years, FARC has been involved in mass murders, kidnappings and drug trafficking. The Colombian government have fought against them with the support of the US government.
The rebel group controlled 80% of cocaine trafficking worldwide and have also been responsible for 60% of cocaine trafficking in the US. As a result of this, the group has become the richest guerrilla organisation in the world – possessing control and power.
The deal was initially rejected by many Colombians –even by former president Alvaro Uribe – as it was regarded as unfair. Many maintained that the deal would not create a sense of equality but uphold a sense of injustice. This is especially as it gives no ‘peace’ to the victims of armed conflict.
Many Colombian’s also fear that this new deal means that the rebel group has become a political party. The Colombian government has been criticised for securing this political peace deal with the ‘non-credible’ rebels.
Despite, the issues surrounding the deal, the positive thing is that peace will be brought to the streets of Colombia.
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