Thursday, June 23, 2016

Peace in Colombia

The FARC and the Colombian government have agreed to a ceasefire, which will facilitate the demobilization of FARC combatants (assuming the Colombian people approve the peace deal in a referendum). As the government says, it is the "end of the war in Colombia." The FARC talks of "Bilateral and Final Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities."

Even more incredibly, Alvaro Uribe actually said he didn't want to make any declaration based on only first impressions. This from a guy ready to base declarations on any rumor he happened to grab off Twitter.

There will be ceremony today in Havana, where the talks have been taking place. It's the end of another Cold War relic. Cuba hosts talks that get support from the United States in order to end a Marxist insurgency.

This was a war that started before I was born, and which has taken and/or ruined so many lives. The war and all its repercussions made many see Colombia as a failed state into the 1990s. Violence beget violence. Even now, 6 million people are displaced, which I wish got more attention.

This is huge and historic. There is no way for the Colombian state to become real in all the far flung rural areas without the war's end. But the war's end is the beginning for paying attention to rural areas.

There is much to do, but this is great news.


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