Colombia finds peace brings burdens

Map of Colombia’s conflict zones
Even with FARC almost entirely demobilized, plenty of armed groups are still wandering around Colombia’s countryside and could cause trouble (source: macpixxel for GIS)
  • After the peace deal, Colombia will be faces huge administrative challenges
  • Key tests for the state will be land reform and fighting corruption
  • A worrying sign is that coca cultivation is making a comeback
  • Peace deal opponent Alvaro Uribe could make a strong challenge in 2018 elections

Throughout most of 2016, Colombia was absorbed by negotiations that led to a historic peace treaty between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which could herald the end to a civil war that has lasted more than half a century, and to the beginning of peace talks with a smaller, holdout guerilla group known as the National Liberation Army (ELN).

The process was so crucial to Colombia’s future viability as a nation that it captured the attention of the entire world. Without the support of the international community – The European Union, Norway, the United Nations, the Organization of American States, Chile, the United States and Cuba all played constructive roles in the process – it is fair to say that the peace talks would have failed, and that President Juan Manuel Santos would not have won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

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