The peace process in Colombia between the Government and the rebel forces of the FARC are entering a critical phase. After 2 years, parties have largely agreed on at least 3 of the 5 most contentious issues and they still show signs of good will in concluding the peace talks. At the same time, here is mounting concern that some of the most difficult issues are proving to be a barrier to the peace agreement. Whilst the peace talks have been supported by the international community, especially with Norway and Switzerland providing mediation support to the parties, the situation in the country is becoming more polarized to the extent that the elite and pact-based talks are losing the support of civil society and the population at large. Even if the peace talks were to be concluded successfully, it should not be forgotten that Colombia is coming out of a civil war spanning more than 50 years and that it will take an inclusive and equitable national dialogue in order to reconcile the present with the past and to offer societal change for the future.
Since I will be working on a research project titled “Legitimacy and Resiliency in National Dialogue Processes” and working in situ on the peace process, Colombia will be a feature report in the weeks and months to come.
Please make sure to check back in on a regular basis.