Colombia has a new peace agreement, but will it stick

Colombia has a new peace agreement, but will it stick

Colombia, a nation long plagued by internal conflict, has recently unveiled a new peace agreement. This development sparks hope for a lasting resolution to decades of violence, displacement, and human suffering. However, the question remains: will this agreement stick? In this essay, we delve into the intricacies of Colombia’s new peace deal, analyzing its strengths, weaknesses, and the challenges it faces in achieving sustainable peace.

Historical Context

Colombia’s history is marred by a complex web of armed conflict involving leftist guerrilla groups, right-wing paramilitary forces, and state actors. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the largest rebel group, engaged in a protracted war against the Colombian government for over five decades, resulting in immense human rights abuses, displacement of millions, and economic instability.

The Previous Peace Agreement

In 2016, Colombia witnessed a historic moment with the signing of a peace deal between the government and the FARC. However, the initial agreement faced significant challenges, including public skepticism, political opposition, and logistical hurdles in its implementation. Despite these obstacles, key provisions were enacted, such as the disarmament and demobilization of FARC fighters, establishment of transitional justice mechanisms, and initiatives for rural development and victims’ reparations.

The New Peace Agreement

The new peace agreement builds upon the foundation laid by its predecessor while addressing some of its shortcomings. It incorporates feedback from critics, civil society, and political stakeholders, aiming to enhance its legitimacy and effectiveness. Key revisions include strengthening measures for transitional justice, improving provisions for rural development, and increasing safeguards against potential spoilers of peace.

Strengths of the New Agreement

Enhanced Inclusivity: The new agreement seeks to address criticisms of the previous deal by engaging a broader spectrum of stakeholders, including indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, victims’ groups, and political opposition. This inclusivity fosters greater buy-in and support for the peace process.

Robust Transitional Justice: Learning from past mistakes, the new agreement bolsters mechanisms for transitional justice, ensuring accountability for past crimes while offering incentives for former combatants to reintegrate into civilian life. By balancing justice with reconciliation, it aims to break the cycle of impunity and revenge.

Sustainable Development Initiatives: Recognizing the root causes of conflict, particularly in marginalized rural areas, the agreement prioritizes investments in infrastructure, agriculture, and social services. By addressing socio-economic disparities, it aims to create conditions conducive to long-term peace and stability.

Challenges and Concerns

Security Threats: Despite the demobilization of the FARC, Colombia continues to grapple with security challenges posed by other armed groups, including dissident FARC factions, drug cartels, and paramilitary organizations. These actors pose a threat to the implementation of the peace agreement and the safety of local communities.

Political Polarization: Colombia’s political landscape remains deeply divided, with factions opposing the peace process and advocating for more hardline approaches. Political polarization hampers consensus-building and can undermine the government’s ability to implement key reforms stipulated in the agreement.

Socio-Economic Obstacles: While the peace agreement outlines ambitious development plans for rural areas, translating these aspirations into tangible improvements faces numerous obstacles. Limited state capacity, bureaucratic inefficiencies, and entrenched interests may impede the effective delivery of services and infrastructure to conflict-affected communities.


The new peace agreement in Colombia represents a significant step forward in the quest for lasting peace and reconciliation. By addressing past shortcomings and incorporating feedback from diverse stakeholders, it holds the potential to build a more inclusive and sustainable peace process. However, formidable challenges lie ahead, including security threats, political polarization, and socio-economic obstacles. Success will require concerted efforts from the Colombian government, civil society, and the international community to overcome these challenges and realize the vision of a peaceful and prosperous Colombia for all its citizens.

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