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Not satisfied with the peace

The new president of Colombia, Iván Duque, wants the peace agreement between the government and the Farc to adjust. That has just put an end to the longest civil war in Latin America.

The population has the peace agreement never really embraced it. A few days before, in 2016, it was announced that the, now former, president Juan Manuel Santos, the Nobel Peace prize, it would get rejected …

The population has the peace agreement never really embraced it. A few days before, in 2016, it was announced that the, now former, president Juan Manuel Santos awarded the Nobel prize for Peace would have been rejected by more than 50 percent of the Colombians, the agreement in a referendum. They had particular concerns about the impunity with which the Farc rebels, but also the paramilitaries that the Farc (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) contested, originate from.

During the civil war, in 1964, the population has a heavy toll to pay. Both the members of the left-wing Farc, as the paramilitaries and the members of the regular security services, didn’t a dead more or less to their opponents to fight. People disappeared, they were tortured to obtain information, or they were detained in the jungle, awaiting the ransom that would be paid.

The Farc, who has ever cared for the fate of the poor farmers, was a major player in the Colombian drug trade. Farmers who have a plot of land in the areas that are in the hands of the Farc, cultivated coca and sold them to the rebels.

The peace agreement, president Juan Manuel Santos in 2016 after years of negotiating with the Farc, reached, was, in the first instance focused on the disarmament of the rebels and their integration in the society. The other problems were also discussed, but the execution left much to be desired.

Victims are out in the cold

Especially the relatives of the 220.000 victims feel neglected. In the agreement it was determined that the 7,000 Farc members not to prison should, but that they are alternative punishments would get. Until now waiting around 4.600 Farc rebels and 1,700 members of the security forces and the paramilitary organisations to their case by a special tribunal (the Comes Especial de Paz, JEP) is treated. The intention is that they are a kind of service to the community, fulfilling, regardless of the crimes they did during the civil war have committed. That is for many victims a bitter pill to swallow.

Many survivors also want to listen to the confessions of the murderers of their family member. In South Africa the testimonies in the Waarheidscommissies about the apartheid regime as a part of the sorrow softens, but in Colombia such meeting have not often organized. Normally, you would not only the serious crimes of the Farc to the light, but also the unsavory practices of the right-wing, paramilitary organizations.

The farmers, who their life long coca grown for the Farc, have, until now, no alternative to that lucrative income. Many have, during the peace process, a lot of coca bush translated into set because they sure were a nice compensation as they are in the place another crop would go planting. That is until now not happened. The promised land reforms are as yet a dead letter remained.

‘Too few resources’

‘The peace agreement was certainly not perfect, but the implementation leaves much to be desired, ” says Moritz Tenthoff, the local representative of Broederlijk delen in Colombia. He finds that the content of the peace agreement already diluted after a small majority of the Colombians in a referendum, in 2016, the agreement was rejected and the president with a new design for the parliament was drawn. The fact that the members of parliament now have all the parts to their fiat, according to Tenthoff an explanation of why the implementation is so in coming. He is also of the opinion that there are too few financial resources are allocated for the implementation of the peace agreement.

Duque argues for a tougher approach. He wants the criminals who have been found guilty of crimes against humanity is not in parliament should sit behind the bars end up, and he suggests that the suspects of drug trafficking, no longer by the special tribunal to be judged, but by ordinary judges. This is the chance that they are in the cell end up much larger. He wants the farmers also commit to put an end to their cocaplantages.

Paramilitaries

Tenthoff fear that the new president will focus on the crimes of the Farc and less attention will be devote to the role of the paramilitaries in the civil war have played. Duque was in his campaign, supported by Álvaro Uribe, who as president between 2002 and 2010 hard has occurred against the Farc, and that, according to the left – now defeated – politician Gustavo Petro, himself, had ties with the paramilitaries.

The arrival of the Duque does not mean necessarily that the fragile peace in jeopardy. Pessimists fear that former Farc members, perhaps again in the illegality will go when they realize that them to a term of imprisonment above the head. But that would be to a relatively small number of rebels. Maybe they all connect with the other rebel group known as ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional), with whom Duque yet to an agreement.

The new president says that he is reconciliation and unity in the country. Then he will not only pay attention to the next of kin of the victims, but also for the circumstances in which an organisation such as the Farc big. Poverty and drugs have on the top of his to-do list.

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