As the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, reminded us in his speech to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the sun will return to shine over that nation after more than 50 years of armed conflict, causing thousands of victims, wounded , Involuntary displacements of hundreds of thousands of people and very economic losses.
On December 1, with the indirect endorsement of the Peace Agreement by the Congress of Colombia, as representatives of the citizens, the negotiation phase of the agreement was closed, and a national consensus was reached for the construction of peace . That historic date, known as the “D-Day” marks the beginning of the implementation phase of the Peace Agreement.
The implementation focuses on three main axes, being the first of a juridical type, which highlights the Amnesty Law and Jurisdiction for Peace, which seeks to clarify their legal status to members of the FARC; The second consists in the development of socio-economic plans and programs, mainly in relation to agrarian reform, illicit crop substitution and victim reparation, whose objective is that in the field there will be similar development opportunities in urban areas And the third axis consists of the reincorporation of the former members of the FARC into democracy, seeking to change the weapons for political participation in the construction of a new Colombia. Indeed, in six months the FARC guerrillas must be totally disarmed and incorporated into civilian life.
Implementation is a challenge no less important than the negotiation process. The initial agreement voted in the plebiscite had several detractors at the end and an unexpected result in the vote, with a defeat when all the polls gave him a resounding victory. What happened? We can say that the victory of the “no” in the plebiscite was not a “no” to peace but was a “no” to the agreement. It is clear that the whole country wanted peace and even the “no winners” did not expect this result. The “no” was rather the result of egos and personal visions as to what and how the content of the agreement should be, nuances that were adjusted to a large extent in this new agreement that unanimously approves the Congress.
As we go deeper into the analysis of the reasons that these nuances were not heard, we find a situation common to many of our Latin American countries, the lack of inclusion, that is, spaces of participation. We can say that the “no” was a call of attention to the government regarding the importance of listening to all sectors and of being an inclusive country. Apparently, the executive did not listen to some sectors of the Conservative Party and Uribe, the representatives of the victims and other groups in the country.
Inclusion, in addition, has another connotation, since it is the reason that gave rise to the existence of this and other guerrillas more than 50 years ago that they found that the country denied them spaces of participation and opportunities to be heard. These sectors of the country that did not feel heard and that were not taken into account were those that looked for in the decade of the 60, through the arms, to be a relevant actor of the definitions of Colombia.
With this historic agreement, today, through political participation, the space of participation and inclusion is open to all sectors of the country, who must be the real guarantee for the construction of peace.
It is a very good news for Latin America that reminds us that peace is an absolutely essential condition for the progress and welfare of nations. That care should be taken and promoted by all possible means in the hand of justice and a prosperity that reaches everyone. It also calls on the entire Latin American region to strive to resolve its national conflicts through peaceful and participatory means.
Diego Mora is Director of Mora Limitada Business Strategies