Pact between the government and FARC-EP raises hopes for peace in Colombia

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An article Adalys Pilar Mireles, Prensa Latina (translated by CPNN)

The agreement for justice signed between the Colombian government and the insurgent FARC-EP raises expectations about the approach of peace, after their long internal war, expectations embraced even beyond national borders.

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Enacted in Cuba Wednesday [23 September], the special jurisdiction for peace foresees the creation of spaces and courts in order to investigate, prosecute and punish the actors involved in military confrontations, with the premise that crimes against humanity, extrajudicial executions and other acts considered serious will not go unpunished,.

It does include the possibility for amnesties and pardons for certain cases of political and related offenses.

Additionally, the government and the guerrilla group representatives who are negotiating an agreed solution to the long conflict, agreed to complete the talks in Havana within the next six months and then end the confrontation.

Since the agreement was signed, activists, politicians, human rights defenders and ordinary citizens have begun to publicly express their satisfaction with this agreement which addresses one of the most critical points of the agenda of talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP).

Described by analysts as crucial on the road to detente, this agreement is being interpreted as a crucial step towards reconciliation in Colombia whose people have suffered more than half a century of violence now.

“We are facing a new era in which new social forces can do politics freely and safely”, Prensa Latina was told by Senator Ivan Cepeda. In his opinion, the meticulous work of a team of lawyers made possible the realization of this methodology which is designed to apply to all the actors of the conflict, not only insurgents but also agents of the State.

Meanwhile, various public personalities have indicated that this step marks a turning point in the peace negotiations that cannot be reversed.

“Peace is near,” one hears repeated in Twitter and other social media, when people begin to see the post-conflict scenario that they have awaited, after many previous attempts at negotiations between the government and the insurgents.

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(click here for the Spanish version of this article.)

Question for this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

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“This is no time for hatred, we must come together to build a just society without war,” insists the Patriotic Union Party, despite having suffered in previous decades a political genocide losing nearly five thousand of its members.

“We support the agreement and ask for accelerated talks to finish the bilateral ceasefire and the end of the war,” says the statement of the Colombian Communist Party, which called upon people to the people to become active participants in the coming times, which some have called a kind of peaceful revolution.

Amid the optimism, there are also plenty of warnings to keep the eyes open for possible maneuvers of the extreme right, who have questioned the recent agreement among the warring parties.

Interior Minister, Juan Fernando Cristo, expressed his disagreement with critics in the Democratic Center Party led by former President Alvaro Uribe, and called on them to reflect and re-evaluate their position. Uribe had expressed his disagreement with the determination to apply the same principles of transitional justice to guerrillas and members of the security forces.

On the international stage, important messages support the efforts to end the confrontation, including those from presidents and other leaders as Pope Francis and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

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