The Valley of the Shadow of Death: Paramilitary Terror Still a Major Concern in Colombia
The greatest threat to Colombia’s peace deal doesn’t come from the Left, but from right-wing paramilitaries.
Unfortunately, Santos does not have a great deal of time in which to take the right steps. His term ends next year, and he is unable to run for election again. Should problems in the peace deal appear or should negotiations with the ELN go badly, the far-right will be resurgent. Every delay or sign of flaws in the accord increased that chance that one of Uribe’s inner circle will win the presidency in 2018.
Colombia has taken enormous steps towards peace, but the shadow of right-wing violence remains. This year, it has already taken the lives of dozens of people and forced many more from their homes.
Should the paramilitaries continue unchecked, they will destroy this chance at peace and unleash a wave of terror such as has not been seen in Colombia for many years. If the current government is serious about building a more inclusive, equal, and democratic Colombia it is vital that they address this problem quickly — or they will live to regret their mistake. Jacobin