New from Mirada Global: Santos and the Rebels

Our latest offering from Mirada Global: a look at the legacy of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, and the challenges facing his newly installed successor, José Manuel Santos: 

Colombians expect that the recently inaugurated government of José Manuel Santos will put an end to decades of violence. Politics in his country has been dominated by the struggle between rebels, government forces and paramilitary organizations. In the course of the conflict around four million six hundred thousand peasants have been displaced between 1985 and 2008, in other words, nearly 10% of the rural population...

Advertisement

All the actors in Colombia’s political violence agree on one point: there’s no military solution to the conflict. Sooner or later, the belligerent parties will have to sit across one another in a negotiating table, as they did in the Central American civil wars. The military offensives —says each side— do not point to the extermination of the opponent. The objective is to force him to a negotiation from a position of force. The government seems to be closer to this declared goal.

Read "Santos and the Guerillas."

Tim Reidy

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Gabriel Marcella
7 years 11 months ago
The piece in Mensaje could be more balanced. By stating that "there's no military solution to the conflict" it overlooks the reality that the military and police have reestablished security in much of the country, and that the paramiltaries have demobilized. This week military forces scored perhaps their greatest success in eliminating the ruthless military leader of the FARC, Mono Jojoy. The author appears to recognize the recognize the value of establishing security when he states that the "government seems...closer to this declared goal:" negotiation from a position of strength. This is precisely how these conflicts end, by the government establishing such an advantage that the opponents decide to quit fighting.

The analogy with the Central American conflicts is not valid. The FARC (designated terrorists by the US, European Community, and Canada) is a bunch of thugs whose leaders are wanted for murder, kidnapping, extortion, and drug trafficking. The government has offered negotiation to end the conflict, but only if the FARC give up kidnapping, murder, extortion, and trafficking. Colombia has a long way to go in achieving peace and justice, but let's recognize the great progress made, thanks in part to the efforts of Colombians, and the support of the United States, the international community, and in spite of the support of Chavez to the FARC.

Advertisement

The latest from america

When “American Vandal” debuted on Netflix last year, it seemed to be positioning itself as the raucous send-up of the true crime genre. In Season Two, there is a much sharper edge to this new premise.
Jim McDermottSeptember 17, 2018
Knowing that the future of the church will largely be in the hands of Latinos, it is paramount that Catholic schools help form them in the faith and help them become our future leaders.
The EditorsSeptember 17, 2018
Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, president of the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, speaks at a news conference officially launching the center in February 2015. Also pictured is Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, head of the Pontifical Commission for Child Protection. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Hans Zollner, S.J., a member on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, shares his hopes for the church as a crisis that never ceases to shock and sorrow continues.
Jim McDermottSeptember 17, 2018
The film tells the story of Louie Zamperini, who spent 47 days at sea before being rescued, imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese.
John AndersonSeptember 14, 2018