Colombia is in the middle of negotiating a peace deal with FARC rebels and the number of discussion points between the two groups range from the implementation of justice for crimes committed to the finer nuisances of the deal that could save many lives. Armed conflict in Colombia has resulted in numerous bloody battles, and the loss of many lives because of fighting inbetween paramilitary groups and guerrilla forces. But what President Juan Manuel Santos has done is, he has gone ahead and agreed to pardoning people responsibile for these atrocities in exchange for swifter national peace.
Santos believes that the more lives that peace can solve faster the better it will all be for economic growth, which is true but the nature of the feuds cannot be simplified so much. Most of the people involved in the fightings have been civilians and this has also both raised the profile for criminal violence in the country and thrown some six million Colombians from their homes right into the countryside. Pardoning so many wrongs in the name of peace and a stronger Colombia seems to ask people to forget all of their bruises.
The FARC rebels are known to not really stick to plans of disarming, which result in blood-fueled battles and too much of violence can mean negotiations breaking down once more and that cannot be a positive outcome for either of the two parties involved. Public support for the negotiations often waiver, while the government and the rebels both try to extert their point of views over the agreement. The last fifteen years has seen a reduction in national violence in Colombia but economic growth has gone the opposite way, fuelled by a heightening of incomes and a drop in oil price.
Colombia is individualistic in South America: it does not really have too much of military dictatorship written in it’s history, considers itself as the oldest democratic country in the region, has wet areas and portions of the Amazon rainforest, counts the rich as people who love political responsibility, there is land ownership that breeds inequality, violence with seeds in politics and and guerrilla fighting. A peaceful national climate can aid with getting back those lands grabbed by guerrillas and reducing the victimisation of Colombians on a daily basis.
The FARC has contributed to many ills of Colombian society, from drugs trafficking to extortion, and sometimes they have even fed into troubled land owners. Coming back from the brinks of societal failure, is not an easy task because once upon a time Colombia used to be a land filled with frequent reportings of kidnappings and murders. Villages would be invaded and child soldiers would be recruited into rebel groups. The economy was in a pitiful state of recession then as mass unemployment and growth of banks failure become commonplace.
The problem is trusting the FARC will not go back on their words because on previous accounts of striking a peace deal, the guerrillas only used those opportunities to grow their forces, both in paramilitary terms and politically, or simply kill idealists. FARC has stated that they are no longer interested in power-grabbing because military growth is happening nationally and the country is improving but it is not too much of an assurance when there is income inequality, and Venezuela is persistant with it’s support of the FARC rebels, spelling political trouble in its shores for it.
Education rates for children are mending, but universal healthcare seems to be asking too much because only a fraction of the population can contribute to it, whilst the government pays for the other half. No one political figure in the country has been able to solve this crisis, and whenever any had gone far, it would later be revealed that innocent civilians were murdered and passed off as guerrilla fighters. Perhaps this time it will be different and that “much awaited” peace deal will bring home national reforms, from rural areas to the provincial countrysides.