- Colombia’s peace agreement holds huge significance for the international community
- A referendum on the pact is far from certain to approve it
- Implementing the agreement will be expensive and controversial
- Its success would offer economic benefits and lead to greater regional cooperation
The Colombian government and negotiators for the country’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), signed a long-awaited peace agreement in Havana, Cuba on August 24. Now comes the hard part – convincing the Colombian people to approve the deal in a referendum on October 2. The agreement covers five major issues: comprehensive rural reform; strengthening guarantees for political opposition (including assurances that FARC will have seats in the legislature); significant changes in tackling illegal drug cultivation; a truth commission; and the creation of a special tribunal to consider serious crimes committed by the guerrillas.