Colombia: The End of A Cycle of Bloodshed?

On August 24th 2016, the Government of Colombia and the guerrilla group FARC-EP signed the Final Agreement , concluding at least 5 years of peace negotiations, which in turn might end the 52-year-old Colombian Armed Conflict. The Colombian public now has to vote on the Final Agreement  in a plebiscite in order for it to come into effect, and function as a binding peace treaty. The agreement contains a 6 point agenda that consists of various provisions for the resolution of the conflict. Its fifth point pertains to victims and the four rights they are entitled to: truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of no repetition.

This article outlines the historical and theoretical frameworks of justice that influenced this Agreement, then give a brief overview of the history of the Colombian Armed Conflict, from the emergence of the FARC-EP to the present. It continues by giving an in-depth description of one of the six points discussed in the agenda, the “Victims Agreement,” in order to show how the theoretical framework of justice impacted the Special Jurisdiction  that will determine the sentences of committers of grave crimes. Finally, it outlines arguments against the Justice provision of the Final Agreement  that both local and international organizations have given, and then counters them.

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