By a vote of 55 in favor and 10 against, the full Senate approved in its second round of debate draft legislation that includes a transitional article in the Constitution to ensure compliance during three presidencial periods of the peace agreements with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army (FARC- EP). The bill establishes that the contents of the final agreement that "correspond to fundamental rights defined in the Constitution, related rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) standards will be a reference for interpretation, source of validity and normative development of the agreement during the three periods of Presidential elections." To this end, Christ assured that with the approval of this legislative act Colombia "continues advancing in the special legislative procedure, which includes the normative implementation of the agreements". Telesur
[..] The government itself, as well as the Nobel Peace Prizes gathered in Bogota a few weeks ago, asked presidential candidates to respect the peace agreement above political ambitions, which is why there are those who welcome a possible candidacy of the chief negotiator with FARC, liberal Humberto de la Calle. [..] It remains to be seen, however, what will be the impact of FARC's entry into the upcoming electoral process, and whether it will end up adding votes to one of the candidates who takes ownership of the peace flag. El Economista América
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
The group of people who formed the negotiating team had already done so, sacrificing four years of their family lives to find a formula that would make possible what happened this week: that FARC demobilized. For now they can have the satisfaction of having fulfilled their duty and the gratitude of Colombians for having changed our history. La Silla Vacía
Some 7,000 men and women from FARC finished concentrating in transitional demobilization zones, where they will be spend six months old and will deliver their weapons. It is a historical event, unthinkable a decade ago and rich in teachings about FARC. in particular, and the peace process. in general. Juanita Vélez, from Silla Vacía, draws the following analysis.
"Colombia is reducing poverty and, in particular, extreme poverty," said the Vatican's Nuncio, adding: "With the help of all, violence, enmity and prejudice can be overcome, reviving confidence in a better country and Promoting reconciliation." El Siglo de Durango
Under the heading, 'Peace is Over', Colombia Report's Adriaan Alsema writes about renewed paramilitary activity in the area of Boyayá. "According to armed conflict website Pacifista, “the other groups” came Thursday in the form of the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC), the descendant of the AUC, the group that killed tens of thousands and displaced millions between 1997 and 2006 and only partially demobilized under former President Alvaro Uribe.
Something similar -- albeit on a smaller scale -- is now happening to the Patriotic March (Marcha Patriótica), a left-wing political movement which since 2012 has sought to recognize the victims of Colombia's prolonged armed conflict. During their short time in Colombian politics, at least 120 of its members have been murdered, and many more have disappeared. While the FARC must overcome serious challenges in order to ensure their political and social survival, the Colombian government must also provide effective security protocols to ensure that the left-wing militants will not be killed during their long-awaited attempt to join the political arena. Insight Crime
Currently, there is sufficient political will from the Government and the FARC, as well as support from society, that the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism has the capabilities to be effective. Democracia Abierta