Cease fire Signed
Peace in Colombia after the news of the signed cease-fire agreement (between the FARC and the Colombian government) this week, flew around the world; initiating the first steps towards complete peace. It’s dubbed the World’s longest-running civil war ever since the FARC started fighting for their leftist ideology in the 1960’s. Although they started out like many other liberation armies during the cold war, the FARC is one of the only ones that managed to survive after its aid stopped following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The FARC was founded in 1964 and came forth out of Farmers self defense groups. It’s ideology is a political-military marxist-leninist organisation inspired by Bolivarism and set its main purpose to help the impoverished population by creating equal distribution of the profits of raw materials and land. From the beginning however they set out to reach their goals by using Guerilla techniques like kidnapping, extortion and bombings, which have not made them very popular under the people they are trying to serve.
Nowadays Colombia sees many European tourists visiting and enjoying the country and its much more developed population. More than 15 years ago however, daily life in this country was totally different and seeing the gross inequalities between the different classes of people, left a great impression on the young Dutch student Tanya Nijmeijer during her exchange to Colombia in 1998. So great even that she decided to come back and join the FARC after her studies in 2001. She has been described as someone that firmly stands behind her beliefs. And eventhough she is received with mixed feelings in Colombia and the rest of the world, she has played a major part in the negotiations of the peace-treaty that started in 2012 in Havana, Cuba.
The Next Steps
The first crucial step has been set, the next steps are negotiating a real peace-treaty. So will that make a saver Colombia? Yes, not having to deal with an inner enemy can help the Colombian government to allocate more resources to where they are needed. In turn making the country and its people more prosperous. On the other side, the FARC has been allowed to enter politics, making it possible to stress their concerns in a more peaceful way and creating a counter-balance to the current capital model.
Of course this cease-fire doesn’t mean that there is an immediate transition from civil war to Scandinavian-like tranquillity. It is however the beginning of peace or in the words of Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos: ‘’Peace has been made possible, now we have to build it.’’