Santos Defends Peace For The First Time as Former President

Santos Defends Peace For The First Time as Former President

The former president dedicates his text to highlight the most innovative elements of what was agreed in Havana, as his condition as the first agreement in the world “under the umbrella” of the Rome Statute and the only one in which the opposing parties have agreed on a justice system transitional.

“The so-called DDR (disarmament, demobilization, reintegration) was executed in record time. The disarmament of the guerrillas was achieved in nine months. More weapons were delivered per guerrilla than in other agreements and the weapons were fused to become monuments to peace. The FARC is already a political party and the number of demobilized guerrillas who have returned to the mountain is minimal, ”Santos writes.

The ex-president maintains that the international community has valued the Colombian Agreement as the most complex and ambitious one that has been achieved in the history of world peace processes. At the same time, Santos recognizes that the signing of the end of the conflict generated many challenges and difficulties.

“Nobody said it would be easy or that Colombia would be a paradise the day after signing the peace. Quite the opposite. It was warned that the road would be long and culebrero and that it would require everyone’s contest because building peace is everyone’s responsibility. It is not the peace of Saints as some say, it is the peace of all, ”he says.

Then, the text goes on to make a kind of balance, point by point, of what has been happening with the Peace Agreement in the Government of Iván Duque. “A war of more than fifty years, crossed by the poisonous arrow of drug trafficking, generates all kinds of macabre interests that benefit from violence and disorder. And, of course, political interests that feed on fear and war are not interested in normality either. They need enemies. That is why they did everything possible to make peace fail and many continue trying to sabotage it. Fortunately, they have not been able to… nor can they, ”he says.

And this recount begins with the days of the plebiscite campaign to endorse the Agreement, in November 2016. In this regard, the ex-president maintains that the opponents of the peace process launched a strategy of discrediting and lies about what was agreed with the guerrillas. “What was not said and continues to be said!” He claims before delving into uribism.

“Such stupidities would not matter if it did not translate into dead. Because many of the social leaders who are killing, are killing those macabre interests that feel protected and often stimulated by those who continue to discredit the process as it gives rise.A significant percentage of the social leaders killed were land claimants or promoters of the voluntary substitution of illicit crops.

The landowners who made their land displacing the peasants at gunpoint do not want their plots to be returned to the original owners. That is why they are proposing in Congress that restraint be stopped. And drug traffickers do not want the voluntary substitution of coca crops to be successful because they know that it is the most effective way perhaps the only one to end their raw material. They are also killing environmentalists who oppose land grabbers, illegal mining and drug traffickers continue to deforest our Amazon, ”Santos writes about the argument, according to which,

But the most novel thing about Santos’ column is that he took advantage of the text to analyze what is happening in the current government of the Democratic Center. “In certain regions a campaign is being seen to prevent the first point of the agreement from being fulfilled.

That of developing a true integral rural reform that solves the problem of access and productivity of the land, an aspiration of Colombia from our independence and the fourth point, that of giving coca growers a worthy alternative to feed their families and solve the problem of coca production. Because it is the only solution. The punitive path failed. We have been rehearsing it for forty years, ”he observes.

At the political level, says the former president, the intention to reform the agreement is maintained. An attempt that has prevented Congress, the Constitutional Court and the international community, he says. Santos also refers to issues that come out in the media, such as the Odebrecht, Cemex and Impregilo case, to which he replies.

“ Assassinating the reputation and credibility of their enemies has been a tactic widely used by the extreme right. That is why our slogan has been clear: while the dogs bark, we must continue riding . ”

Close the column with a kind of recommendation to the country and President Iván Duque. “The peace train does not stop: the point of no return has passed and attempts to derail it will continue to fail . The hope of the people ends up defeating fear. Reconciliation, however difficult it may be, is imposed on hate, ”he notes.

And the text concludes “President Duque has a golden opportunity to regain his prematurely lost governance: put peace above the parties and lead its construction, that second phase so necessary.

If you commit to effective action to stop the murders of social leaders, if you abandon the insistence on changing the agreements and if it translates into concrete and measurable actions, backed up with the necessary resources, your repeated manifestations of wanting to implement what was agreed upon, the great most of the country and Congress would support it. ”

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