With a year left on his term, the Colombian president has international recognition for the peace agreement with FARC, but in Colombia he does not have as much popular support. [...] Santos set himself the goal of modernizing Colombia and achieving peace with the country's largest guerrilla organization was a fundamental requirement for that. But the effort and the time it took to finalize the agreement left a lot of unfinished business, although despite the complaints, it is undeniable for political scientists that a lot of progress was made for existing problems in the areas of health, education and infrastructure. Deutsche Welle Actualidad
Paris's Sorbonne university awarded an honorary degree and a medal to President Juan Manuel Santos, for his efforts toward peace in his country, a distinction that he dedicated to his people. [...] The ceremony, begun at the rhythm of the vallenato "La Gota Fría", took place in the same educational center where his great-uncle Eduardo Santos, who was also president of Colombia, had studied Sociology and Literature in 1909. Last year Sorbonne gave the same title to former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. El Colombiano
Peasants from Cauca, Putumayo, Nariño, and Meta have recently clashed with the Army. The public force arrived at dozens of coca plantations, equipment in hand, to forcefully eradicate them. The peasants, as expected, have prevented it from happening. The magazine Pacifista! interviewed Eduardo Díaz, charged by the government with the implementation of a illicit crops substitution plan, about the government's relationship with the growers, about FARC responsibility in increasing the crops and on the position of Colombia before the Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Pacifista!
Hoy desde Cauca les digo a los violentos: NO vamos a permitir que atemoricen a nuestros líderes sociales y defensores de Derechos Humanos Today, from Cauca I'm speaking to those who promote violence. We will not allow that they frighten our social leaders and human rights defenders
"The Uribe administration sat for almost three years with the Eln in Cuba negotiating. What a great contribution to this process it could make. Let's keep the process with ELN outside of the political realm. That will benefit the process, it will be good for the country, and the whole world". Presidencia Colombia
The United Nations said Colombia’s government was undermining the country’s peace process by failing to release imprisoned FARC members and protect disarmed guerrillas as promised in a peace deal with the country’s oldest and largest rebel group. In an unusually harsh press release, the UN Mission in Colombia, which oversees the peace process, said the government should “act responsibly and swiftly to put an end to a situation that weakens peace building.” According to newspaper El Espectador, only 837 former guerrillas have been released from prison while 3,400 are still behind bars even after the 180-day period that sought the FARC’s disarmament on one hand and the government facilitating the former guerrillas’ reintegration into society on the other. Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports
But the agreement does more than silence weapons; it delivers a welcome end to conflict for Colombians, a majority of whom have never lived in a country at peace. The agreement sets out to bridge the historic divide between the Colombia of developed urban centers and that of the vast, impoverished interior, where historically there has been little or no government presence and, as a result, limited security, weak rule of law and deficient health care and education. New York Times
According to these new polls, accusations of corruption have stuck against president Juan Manuel Santos: 66% of Colombian voters have an unfavorable view of him. And 51% think he is corrupt. Colombia Peace Report
Past attempts to negotiate with the FARC failed because the conditions were not ripe. Two of those conditions were military advantage, so that the government could negotiate from strength, and the support of the region. What I did was to create those conditions – the first through military effectiveness, and the second through pragmatic diplomacy.