The Colombian Peace Agreement, also known as the Final Agreement to End the Armed Conflict and Build a Stable and Lasting Peace, was signed in November 2016 after four years of negotiations between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). This agreement put an end to more than 50 years of conflict that had killed over 200,000 people and displaced millions.
The main objective of the peace agreement was to establish a framework for a transition to a peaceful society, including issues such as land reform, political participation, drug trafficking, and the rights of victims. Some of the key points of the agreement include:
1. Transitional Justice: The agreement established a Special Jurisdiction for Peace, a transitional justice system that would investigate, judge and sanction those responsible for crimes committed during the conflict. This would include combatants, but also politicians, businessmen and other civilians who directly or indirectly financed or supported the armed conflict.
2. Political Participation: The agreement established mechanisms to reintegrate FARC members into civilian life and politics, such as the creation of a political party. This was meant to provide an alternative to violence as a means of political expression.
3. Land Reform: The agreement sought to reverse the concentration of land ownership that had led to social and economic inequality in Colombia. It established a land restitution program for victims of the conflict and prioritized the development of rural areas.
4. Drug Trafficking: The agreement recognized that drug trafficking was a symptom of the conflict rather than its cause. It proposed alternative development programs to incentivize farmers to grow legal crops instead of coca, the plant used to produce cocaine.
5. Victims` Rights: The agreement recognized the harm suffered by victims of the conflict and established a comprehensive system to provide assistance, reparations, and guarantees of non-repetition.
Despite the progress made by the peace agreement, there have been setbacks and challenges in its implementation. Some FARC members have returned to violence, and the government has faced criticism for not doing enough to address the root causes of the conflict, such as poverty and inequality. Nevertheless, the Colombian Peace Agreement remains a landmark achievement in the country`s history and a model for other conflict-affected countries around the world.