With the 2018 Elections Looming, Santos Struggles to Keep Peace Deal: Stratfor Colombia Analysis (E)
In Colombia, politics may get in the way of the government’s hard-won peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The four-year peace process has long been a target of criticism from conservative Colombian politicians, many of whom consider aspects of the deal too lenient. In its current iteration, for instance, the truce — which has yet to receive final approval from the legislature — prescribes the creation of transitional courts where FARC members could confess wartime crimes in exchange for amnesty. From the perspective of President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC, the transitional courts are an essential component of the peace deal because they provide a legal safeguard for the amnesty promised to the group. Without them, the FARC would have less incentive to demobilize since a future administration could simply renege on the pardon.
But former President Alvaro Uribe’s Democratic Center party has consistently spoken out against the transitional court provision, among others. And depending on the outcome in 2018 of Colombia’s next presidential election, the party may have the chance to act on its objections. A former adviser to Uribe said Feb. 10 that if the Democratic Center wins power in the vote, it will revisit the terms of the accord that demonstrate “tolerance toward drug trafficking,” including the guarantee of amnesty. In the meantime, the outgoing Santos administration is using its last year in office to prepare for that contingency. Stratfor