"There is a signed agreement, and it is a fact... It resulted from a fundamental strategy to recover the stability of the country. Peace in Colombia makes the country move forward and builds the future the country needs."
These comments come from part of a much longer speech Juan Carlos Pinzón, the Colombian Ambassador to the United States, made in Miami on 30 March 2017. The speech had a clear messageColombia is now looking forward to a future which includes long-term stability and prosperity, with an increased ability to compete in the global economy. Colombia is "open for business" on the world-stage.
The signed agreement Pinzón refers to is the historic peace deal between the Colombian government and FARC leaders, which was signed 24 November 2016, with the aim to bring an end to more than 50 years of conflict in the country.
The agreement that was finally brokered was not the first of its kind to be offered, with an earlier version of the same agreement having been brought to a national plebiscite a little more than a month earlier in September 2016. That version was rejected by voters amid concerns of a lack of repercussions for perpetrators of war crimes and a perception of excessive funding for FARC political participation. The Colombian government, lead by President Juan Manuel Santos, claimed to have addressed the majority of the concerns of No voters in the new agreement, carefully balancing the needs and desires of both sides of the conflict.
Under UN supervision, more than 7,000 rebels are now in the process of giving up their arms and relocating to temporary encampments. However, the process is not unfolding without setbacks, as in recent weeks complaints have arisen from both the government and FARC.
Representatives of FARC are claiming the government has failed to deliver its promises of food, money, clothing and housing. There are many cases where the government has failed to prepare adequate temporary housing for rebels arriving from jungle and mountain hideaways. The government has counterclaimed that FARC has been too slow to hand over arms and explosives, that it has blocked construction workers' access to encampments and that many of FARC's current demands are overreaching...