FARC: Last days in the jungle?
by Fabio Cuttica
Text edited by Stefano Pontiggia
After 51 years of often brutal conflict and three previous failed negotiations with the government, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group seems to finally be ready to give up their guns
Negotiations between the Colombian government and FARC have taken place in Havana, Cuba, for the last three years, and they are close to signing a historic peace agreement.
I was able to gain access during some days in one of the rebel-camps belonging to FARC’s Eastern Bloc of FARC, the strongest military faction, in what could be their last days in the jungle.
Since the beginning of the peace process, the activities within the camps have definitely changed. During the short daylight hours in the middle of the dense tropical forest, guerrillas are studying the agreements, preparing for peace and planning new strategies of war, should they fail.
Renegotiating Peace in Colombia
The government failed to understand how much distrust toward the FARC remains
Referendums are developing a reputation for producing undesirable results. Colombia’s recent vote not to endorse a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was widely compared to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU). In both cases, those who put the referendum to the public underestimated the strong emotions of their respective populaces.
The “No” vote in Colombia doesn’t mean the end of the peace process. President Juan Manuel Santos just received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
From a negotiation point of view, Santos is clearly a competent dealmaker, capable of bringing a guerrilla organisation to the negotiation table with true intentions to find a deal and building a sizable (albeit not big enough) consensus for it. Now begins the negotiation most executives in my classroom point out as the most difficult; the internal one. This is where a deal done with a counterparty must now be brought home and justified to one’s internal stakeholders. Santos must now negotiate with his fierce rival, Álvaro Uribe and the public, which he clearly underestimated. It will be an uphill task.
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Fabio Cuttica - fabiocuttica.com