The ruling hard right is trying to prevent the implementation of the agreement signed with the ex-FARC.

By Marie Delcas Posted yesterday at 11:31

Time to Reading 3 min.

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Celebrating marriages between former FARC members and paramilitary groups in Bogotá in September 2018. These "marriages for peace" are an initiative of the Colombian Agency for the Reintegration of Ex-Combatants.
Celebrating marriages between former FARC members and paramilitary groups in Bogotá in September 2018. These "marriages for peace" are an initiative of the Colombian Agency for the Reintegration of Ex-Combatants. DIANA SANCHEZ / AFP

At the head of the regional crusade for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela, Colombian President Ivan Duque seems rather tempted to let peace in his country. The agreement signed in 2016 with the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has lead in the wing. The demobilized guerrillas certainly play the game of peace and democracy. But, in a position of strength in Congress, the hard right continues to challenge the legitimacy of the signed text and tries, by action or inertia, to scuttle the effects.

"President Ivan Duque pretends to ignore that he is bound to respect what has been granted, considers political scientist Elisabeth Ungar. The peace and institutional stability of the country are compromised. " The government, which has been in place since August 2018, has made ex-President Juan Manuel Santos and his peace policy responsible for the country's problems.

" Hand brake "

The cornerstone of the agreement signed with the former rebels, the Special Court for Peace (JEP), in charge of trying war criminals on both sides, is in the hot seat. The program of return of land to the peasants is almost stalled. Funds for the reintegration of guerrillas or the voluntary substitution of illicit crops are also lacking. The new government's security policy, which provides for a "Network of civilian collaborators" help the police, and the announced flexibilisation of the carrying of weapons raises fears of a return to violence.

In rural areas, targeted killings continue. In two years were killed more than 300 "social leaders" – local elected officials, peasant unionists, environmentalists, pacifists or former guerrillas. The government is slow to provide an answer to this slaughter.

"In terms of peace building, the government of Ivan Duque has put the hand brake", sums up Juan Camilo Restrepo, who was agriculture minister of Juan Manuel Santos and former peace negotiator with the country's other guerrillas, the still active National Liberation Army (ELN). "The affable air of President Duque must not deceive," says Clara Lopez, left leader and former minister, too. According to her, "The president is under the orders of Alvaro Uribe". Head of State from 2002 to 2010, Senator since 2014, Mr. Uribe remains the figurehead of the right security.

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