Government agrees peace treaty with FARC.

Colombia’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC -the Marxist Colombian military organization established in 1964 whose purpose was “to conquer political power for govern in benefit of the Colombian people”- have recently reached an agreement about how to deal with the illegal production and trade of drugs in the country. “How can it be possible?” It is the question many Colombians ask themselves after being informed about it. It is not a stupid one: the government of Colombia and the military organization has been confronted (and they remain so) since the conflict began in the 1960’s, resulting in 200000 casualties and more than 40 years of negotiations.

-FARC negotiator Ivan Marquez says the agreement includes reparations for victims of coca plantation spraying

After years of confrontation, Pastrana’s government tried a peace treaty with FARC in the 90’s. It was a failed attempt which intensified the conflict until the Santos government came up in 2012 with Peace negotiations.  They would involve the Government of the Republic of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The peace talks would take place in La Havana and Oslo, so it would be in “neutral” location. Also two Latin American countries would be “accompanying” the negotiation, those are Venezuela and Chile. Six points are to be discussed and agreed on in order to achieve a permanent peace.

– 1. Agrarian integral development policies.
– 2. Political participation (for FARC)
– 3. End of the Conflict.
– 4. Solution to the problem of illegal drugs.
– 5. Victims (in the sense of the truth recognition of the casualties.)
– 6. The implementation and verification of the previous points.

Up to today, points one to four have been agreed by both sides and points 5 and 6 are being discussed at the moment. The whole process seems to have had an acceleration due to the upcoming presidential elections
But why now? Why just some days before the general elections which are going to be held on 25th May?
The peaceful agreement declared by the FARC and the ELM has being highly critized by the opposition, who consider this action might help to the reelection of Juan Manuel Santos as president. “It is a way to make Santos being re-elected on the general elections” said Marta Lucia Ramirez, candidate for the Conservative Party, at a meeting in Bogotá.
Also former President Alvaro Uribe, replaced by Santos in 2010, has compared the situation to what happened in 1992 with Pablo Escobar, who escaped the “prison” he was in when he knew that was going to be moved to another one, describing it as “a monument to impunity”.
Other experts just criticize it mainly because FARC has been involved in cocaine trafficking since the 1980’s and it is clearly and important way of financing themselves. Inevitably, the question is: why do they accept to leave it now? When, for example, the demand of cocaine in Europe and other South American countries as Brazil has increased dramatically in the last years. Maybe they are asking for other conditions as technical assistance or development programs.


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