It is indeed good to read that President Santos “hopes for peace.” However, the President’s inaction in terms of creating a viable atmosphere in Colombia seems to heavily counterweigh his “hope.” Hoping for peace is not enough. Agreeing to end the conflict in Havana is one thing, and finding real justice and peace on the ground is another. Santos seems more interested in securing a victory in the upcoming elections than working to foster peace. If he wants his hope for peace to become a reality he needs to allocate the necessary energy and resources to catalyze reform. The Victim’s and Land Restitution Law is a great opportunity with the potential to actually create peace, but it has failed to return the land to its owners and provide reparations to the victims of human rights violations. Illegal armed groups have responded with intimidation tactics, threatening and even carrying out assassinations of families and communities that try to return to their lands. President Santo’s actions have hardly matched those of the armed groups (who often work for petroleum and palm oil companies to accumulate land and have questionable ties to government officials). Victims of Colombia’s protracted internal armed conflict dream of peace, but their attempts to mobilize against armed actors are met with violence and brutal repression, making their dream seem unattainable.
Jeanette Bonifaz, Research Associate at Council on Hemispheric Affairs
In response to BBC News: Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos hopes for peace.
Please accept this article as a free contribution from COHA, but if re-posting, please afford authorial and institutional attribution. Exclusive rights can be negotiated.