n September 23rd, 2015, the world watched as 50 years of violent conflict, and 3 years of tentative talks, culminated in an only-slightly-awkward handshake between Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Rodrigo “Timochenko” Londoño, the leader of the Colombian Armed Revolutionary Force, or FARC. The shake was the final embodiment of the latest round of negotiations, which for the first time ever, actually resulted in a tangible step forward. The two sides have been warring for as long as anyone can remember. This victory of diplomacy is one to be celebrated within Colombia for certain, but it could also very well be a model for ending current and future conflicts around the world. Multiple factors lend credence to the revolutionary status of this agreement; to start, it is the first civil conflict to be negotiated to a resolution under the relatively new standards of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which hold combatants who’ve committed serious human rights abuses accountable; this peace process will be the first of its kind to include victims at the negotiating table; and for the first time ever, civil war will end without simply granting amnesty to all sides, but rather upholding “restorative justice.” Included in this deal is the right to run for political office, alongside amnesty for crimes related to “political rebellion.” Adding to the novelty of this restorative justice is the premise that punishments will largely be in the form of community service, as opposed to incarceration. This type of justice, which focuses on the victims rather than just the perpetrators, could very well be the model for peaceful conclusion of conflicts in all countries. While just over half of all Colombians surveyed support the peace process, those numbers could likely be raised by simply educating the public on the goals of this agreement and the potential for achieving them. As of the 23rd of September, the negotiators have six months to settle on the final agreement, and 60 days after that the FARC will lay down its weapons. Only then, will we see if Colombia has truly set the global pace for peace.
Colombia and Farc rebels announce ‘peace’ breakthrough || euronews