Public opinion on the negotiations between Colombian government and FARC

After many years of fights and violence, the negotiations between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) finally started. The peace discussions, taking place in La Havana, Cuba, started the 18th of October 2012. This is the fourth attempt to conclude peace since the early 1960s.

The FARC is a Marxist-Leninist movement, born 50 years ago with the goal to change Colombia. The rebels considered Colombia as a very unfair country: in fact, there were a lot of inequalities between the different classes. The FARC started to act in a peaceful way, but soon they turned into a terrorist movement: murders, kidnappings, bomb attacks etc. All the country was suffering because of these fights, and too many innocent people were killed (police, lawyers, senators, journalists). The most important action of the FARC is “intercambio humanitario”: this means that many kidnappings were made to guarantee the liberation of members of the FARC, earlier captured by the government. The government denies negotiating with terrorists; many people are still in custody after 10 years.

At the beginning, the public opinion was enthusiastic about the idea of the end of violence. People thought that this could help the economy and the international image of the country. They also hoped that justice could be improved to guarantee citizens’ life. They talk about the possibility of social cohesion and about a progressive equality between classes. The government ensured that the past mistakes would not be repeated again.

Recently, the BBC realized a new interview to the Colombians, and their opinion radically changed. In fact, the two parts reached a partial agreement, solving just a point out of five.

The population is skeptical about this “fake peace”, because the FARC continues to realize armed attacks and to kill people. So far it sees no results.

The main problem is that the two parts can’t reach a final agreement and the discussion is still in progress. This is why the FARC realized other attacks. For example, on July 2013 the FARC organized an attack against the police station of El Charco, putting a bomb in a dog. Fortunately, there were no deaths but just two wounded. Another attack was made the 15th of October with a car bomb: 9 people were hurt.


Graphic based on information obtained from El País

With these recent facts, people lost hope in this peaceful treaty and think that it will all finish in nothing. Moreover, the President was supposed to continue Uribe’s politic towards the FARC, but with time his actions shows that he seems incompetent to fight the rebels’ power. He even admits that the peace process will not be accomplished by November 2013.

The measures that the government is taking to deal with the FARC are not getting any result. It should look for other ways to reach peace before this will all end in another armed solution.


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