Tag: FARC

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Of all the places one might expect to find sensible coverage of the Nobel Peace Prize, The Daily Beast would not normally be high on the list. But writer Christopher Dickey has written a scathing – and accurate – critique of this year’s winner, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos: In living memory, the committee in Oslo […]

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The Obama Administration’s Hypocrisy in Colombia

 

JM Santos, Raul Castro and Farc Leader Timochenko

It should come to no one’s surprise that the Obama Administration quickly lauded the recently announced deal on justice between the Colombian government and the Marxist, narco-terrorist guerrilla group, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).  After all, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has used the Obama playbook on Iran to push through his historic peace accord with the FARC: Start negotiations without preconditions with a terrorist sponsor or organization, draw redlines only to capitulate later, and promise one thing to its electorate while doing the opposite.

Here’s what we know from the announcement. Special tribunals will be created to hold accountable those guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity such as massacres, kidnappings, hostage-taking, forced displacement of citizens, recruitment of child soldiers and sexual violence, and torture. The special tribunals will be comprised of a combination of Colombian and foreign judges. Individuals who confess to committing these crimes will serve a maximum of five to eight years in a restricted area, not in a prison cell (basically what FARC members are doing now). As for those who don’t admit to a crime, but are later found guilty by the tribunal, they will serve a maximum of 20 years in a prison cell. Additionally, FARC leaders are permitted to return to politics after implementation of the peace accord concludes.

Colombians Have Lost Hope in Peace Process

 

desaparecidosThe chances of a historic peace accord between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Marxist guerilla group with which it has been in a state of armed conflict since 1964, have never looked bleaker since the Havana negotiations commenced in October 2012.

As talks continued outside the country, the recent escalation of warfare within it is exhausting a nation that has seen its armed forces, infrastructure, and environment attacked by the FARC on 145 separate occasions since last May. After more than 1,000 days at the negotiating table, Colombians have lost hope in reaching a peace agreement.

In July, in a national televised address to the nation, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that the FARC had again agreed to a unilateral ceasefire. This marked the FARC’s sixth attempt at a truce; they violated the most recent one in April when their guerrillas ambushed a Colombian squadron in Cauca, leaving 10 soldiers dead. Santos also, for the first, time announced orders to “de-escalate” military action by Colombian armed forces for a period of four months, subject to the FARC’s meeting the government’s conditions.