When people grow up in the middle of the conflict maybe they could not realise the pleasure of living in peace. some people could think also peace does not exist, all countries have conflicts, and our country is not the exception. But they had the opportunity to live in peace, we believed in the politics who were playing with the conflict like horses of battle to get votes in the last decades. It happened to Colombia a country that has lived in conflict for more than 60 years, the government called to the population to vote for a peace referendum to finalise the conflict with the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionaras de Colombia ‘Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’). Nevertheless, Colombia voted NO for the peace, and around the world, nobody could believe that Colombia had opened the way to solve the conflict that had been taken lots of Colombians lives most of them children and young people by the war. Fortunately, the president Juan Manuel Santos was trying on making history and at the end, he reached agreements with the opponents of peace to reach the desired peace signature. This essay will describe Colombian’s Conflict, the evolution of the conflict, the international and national organizations intervention in the resolution of the conflict and post-conflict agreement.
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Describe Colombia conflict is not something handily, because it contexts complex situations. In the 19th century, the conservative party was born, which was characterized by protecting the interests of the country’s moneyed classes, while the liberal party appears in the political arena protecting the interests of the poorest groups. Both groups disputed the control of the country and that led them to be in continuous confrontations, which triggered the beginning of a period of violence accompanied by assassinations and aggression.
In 1948 the liberal Jorge Eliecer Gaitán was nominated to the presidential candidate, he was more accommodating to the media classes, labour people and extreme poverty classes, and Gaitán was the first candidate to have a socialist discourse, with this speech he filled the public squares of the whole country, generating among the citizens the hope of a better country. Gaitán was the best option to be elected by the people to become President of Colombia. However, on April 9 of the same year, he was murdered in the city of Bogotá, so far no one knows who was his killer, but his supporters insist that his murder was ordered by the CIA trying to stop the socialist movement in Latin America. This fact made people turn to the street full of anger at the loss of the caudillo destroying everything that was in its path extending to the rest of the country, this day is known as the ‘Bogotazo’. As mentioned by Cosoy(2016), The conflict over the death of Gaitán was transferred to the rural area where it was terribly bloody and hard until the end of the 50’s where more than 200,000 people died, this period was called ‘La Violencia’.
In 1956 the national front was created, which included the two parties that had control of the country to sign the Benidorm pact in Spain. In this agreement, the parties agreed to alternate the presidency of the country each year, this helped the cessation of violence between the two political parties. Therefore, the pact originated the emergence of other opposition political parties who demanded the return of the democratic system. On the other hand, liberal peasants were organizing to demand an agrarian reform in the country allowing all of them to have land to work especially those families that had been victims of forced displacement because of violence in recent years. These peasants were led by Manuel Marulanda Velez who years later would be identified as ‘Manuel Marulanda Velez or Tirofijo’ and that is how the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was born in 1964.
During their evolution, the FARC incorporated the Marxist-Leninist discourse into its ranks and the fall of the Soviet Union, the Bolivarian nationalist one. But the lack of participation in politics and inequality drive the emergence of other insurgent groups such as El Ejercito Nacional de Liberación, the National Liberation Army (ELN), Ejercito Popular de Liberación (EPL) and El Movimiento Diecinueve de Abril (M-19).
Moreover, at the end of the 70s, the FARC was an isolated group with a small foot of force, it had around nine hundred combatants, this made it have very limited military capabilities and diminished their chances of coming to power (Pécaut cited in Semana educación 2016). Otherwise, in the 1980s, with the opening of drug trafficking in the country, the resources of the guerrillas increased exponentially, with this they modernized their weapons and expanded their fronts around the country.
On November 24, 2016, the Colombian government signed a peace agreement with the guerrillas, after fifty years of conflict. During these years, there were more than 8.5 million victims throughout the country who were affected by violence, inequality, conflicts of political interest and the different terrorist attacks that were evident. Despite the signing of this peace agreement, there are still many areas of the country that continue to be affected by the terrorism of illegal armed groups, especially areas where levels of poverty and government intervention have been nulls, such as Chocó, La Guajira and other departments of the Colombian Amazon (Amnesty International 2017).
ONU, It should be noted that, in the peace treaty of Colombia, the UN (United Nations Organization) has been a key element in bringing the entire process of disarmament and demobilization of the guerrillas to a successful conclusion. The delegations of the Colombian Government and the ELN armed group reiterated their interest in a monitoring and verification with participation of the Catholic Church and the UN, international entities that have been of great help for the verification of international protocols in the defense of human rights , given the long experience of the United Nations in monitoring peace agreements throughout the world, work that has a high degree of complexity. Likewise, collecting the experience of the Mechanism of Oversight and Verification of the Quito Agreement, both the church and the UN also sought to base in their participation in the peace process in Colombia the agreement on specific and precise commitments, rules and protocols that would make it possible a successful verification work.
Traditionally, more than one resolution of the Security Council has been required to reestablish the mandate of peace missions, in accordance with the progress in the implementation of the agreements. Several of these missions have begun prior to the signing of the peace, to monitor respect for human rights by armed groups outside the law. In the American continent, the intervention of the UN following resolutions of the Security Council was key in the previous peace processes that took place in Guatemala and El Salvador, resulting in the rebirth of democracy in those countries and the reduction of violence, inequality and the prevalence of human rights.
On September 26, 2017, the United Nations Mission in Colombia successfully completed the weapons delivery process by the FARC-EP. Currently, the UN continues to support compliance with the Peace Agreement in Colombia through the UN Verification Mission, approved according to resolution 2377 of 2017. The document urges that, in addition to the Government and the different political parties in the country, Several of the most important institutions of the State, including the Congress, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Justice, the Attorney General’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office, have supported the implementation of key parts of the peace agreement and have contributed to that implementation .
In January 2016, the UN Security Council, at the request of the government, created a political mission under a tripartite mechanism, namely the UN, the government and the FARC, to monitor and verify the bilateral ceasefire. and the cessation of definitive hostilities, as well as the demobilization and total disarmament of the members of armed groups. In July 2017, the Security Council created the second mission in charge of verifying the reintegration of the FARC to the civil community.
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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate stems from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission is mandated to promote the observance of human rights in the region and acts as an advisory body to the OAS on the matter. The IACHR is composed of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.
The president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH), commissioners James Cavallaro and then Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, spoke about the peace process, the precariousness of the ceasefire and the future implementation of the agreement in Colombia. In this way, greater oversight of the peace treaty to be signed would be guaranteed and international participation would be guaranteed along with the UN in the different procedures that would be carried out, such as the ceasefire and the delivery of arms by the guerrillas. of the FARC-EP. In addition to this, the President of the IACHR told President Santos that the IACHR would continue to monitor that the implementation of the agreement was carried out in accordance with the Inter-American human rights standards.
The effective implementation of the Agreement allows meeting the international standards of truth, justice and reparation in the context of the transition to peace
Between January and September of 2017, around 9544 Chocoano people were forcibly displaced from their homes, where almost 50% of these people are part of the Afro-descendant community and another 30% are part of the indigenous community.
There is also evidence of the sowing and explosion of anti-personnel mines throughout the territory of Chocó, the recruitment of children and adolescents by subversive armed groups, gender-based violence, sexual violence against girls and women and selective assassinations against different social leaders. and community (Amnesty International 2017).
- Amnesty International 2017, Colombia: The years of solitude continue. Colombia: The peace agreement and guarantees of non-repetition in Chocó 2017, viewed 17 May 2019, < https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr23/7425/2017/en/>
- Cosoy, N 2016, ‘¿Por qué empezó y qué pasó en la guerra de más de 50 años que desangró a Colombia?’, BBC Mundo, viewed 17 May 2019, <https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-37181413>
- Semana Educación 2016, ‘En tres minutos la historia de las FARC’, Semana, viewed 17 Mayo 2019, <https://www.semana.com/educacion/articulo/la-historia-de-las-farc/467972>