Colombia. Peace negotiations between the government and the largest guerrilla group, the 20,000-strong FARC, continued throughout the year but without great success, and on November 15, they were completely suspended for the third time since they began in January 1999. FARC accuses the government of failing to fulfill its promise to stop the paramilitary groups, which are considered by impartial evaluators to cooperate with parts of the Colombian security forces and participate in about 85% of all political violence in Colombia. In particular, they operate around the Barrancabermeja oil center, which has the most homicides (eight a day) per capita in the world. At the same time, the FARC took certain steps in a moderating direction – in February, representatives of both the Government of Colombia and FARC Sweden visited together during a “study trip” in Europe, and in April the FARC founded a civil political party (MBNC).
In July, the US Congress approved a $ 1.3 billion financial grant in support of President Andrés Pastran’s Plan Colombia peace plan, which is constitutionally earmarked for the fight against drug power (80% of all cocaine in the United States comes from Colombia). But both the FARC and NGOs see the plan, which includes military training and equipment, as an escalation of the violence, and all parties are in practice included in a veritable cutting armor. In July-August, the war also escalated sharply on all fronts. to the fact that six children on school escape in the province of Antióquia were killed “by mistake”. On the evening of January 23, the civilian population of Colombia’s largest cities, as a manifestation of peace, carried out a voluntary blackout by extinguishing all the lights.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Colombia. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
The refugee disaster in Colombia is to the same extent as in Kosovo, but its overall scale is difficult to estimate – the numbers vary between half and two million affected – nor does it attract the interest of the world, mainly because the refugees leaving the country are few and do not concentrate on one place. In just three weeks in October, 15,000 people fled to neighboring Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela.
2016 Peace Agreement between FARC and Government. But not peace
After completing a unilateral ceasefire for several years, the government and FARC signed a far-reaching ceasefire and peace agreement in June 2016 in Cuba. The country’s radical right wing had been preparing for this situation for a long time and had passed legislation in 2015 that would free soldiers and prosecution officers from 60 years of massive human rights violations. The courts also participated in this project. In December, the Supreme Court overturned the sentence against Colonel Luis Alfonso Plazas Vega on 30 years in prison. A verdict he got in 2010 for disappearances he was responsible for ifbm. military occupation of the Bogota Justice Palace in 1985.
Both the FARC and the government hoped the deal would lead to peace. It foresaw the disarmament of the FARC and the transformation of the movement into a political party, as well as the investigation and conviction of those responsible for the 250,000 killings committed over 60 years. But the challenges were great. The FARC feared a repeat of the history of the 1980’s, when another peace agreement led to the FARC forming the UP party, which over a number of years killed over 1,000 members – including a presidential candidate and many prominent politicians. Should this be avoided in 2016-17, it assumed the disarmament and dissolution of death patrols and the right-wing paramilitary groups, and this was not initiated. Another huge problem was dealing with the extreme inequality in the country, where a small clique of landlords and industrial citizenship controls almost all of the country’s resources. In June 2015, Parliament passed a law granting mining companies and landlords the right to claim ownership of millions of acres of land left by the original owners during the armed conflict. (Colombia and Farc rebels sign historic ceasefire deal to end 50-year conflict, Guardian 23/6 2016; Key Challenges for Colombia’s Peace Process, Telesur 23/7 2016).
At a delegation meeting in Yarí, southern Colombia, in late September, the FARC unanimously agreed to the peace agreement with the Colombian government. The conference consisted of 200 delegates from the various fronts and sectors of the FARC. Still, the peace agreement fell to the floor at the referendum in Colombia in early October. 50.2% voted against, while 49.8% voted in favor. Only 54,000 votes separated the two blocks. In turn, turnout was low. Only 38%. Only 19% of the country’s voters decided that the war should continue. The result was a consequence of an intensive campaign against peace led by the country’s radical right wing, the death patrols, the military, the landlords, the country’s deeply conservative church and the conservative media. Their main argument was, that the guerrilla should not be allowed to evade criminal liability for its human rights violations during the 55-year armed conflict. Otherwise, the peace agreement had been supported internationally by both the UN, the US, the EU, Amnesty International and Pope John Paul. But the extreme right wing won, throwing the country into a deep political crisis. President Santos declared a few days later that the mutual cease-fire with the FARC would end on October 31. The war could then resume. (that the mutual ceasefire with the FARC would end October 31. The war could then resume. (that the mutual ceasefire with the FARC would end October 31. The war could then resume. (Colombia’s Farc unanimously approves a peace deal and forms new political party, Guardian, 23/9 2016; Colombia referendum: voters reject peace deal with Farc guerrillas, Guardian 3/10 2016).
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Colombia in 2000 was 39,629,857, ranking number 29 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.700% yearly, and the population density was 35.7188 people per km2.