Colombia’s peace process has had many ups and downs since it began in late 2012. However, the final months of 2014 felt more like a roller coaster. In November 2014, the outlook appeared positive, as President Juan Manuel Santos declared that a deal with the FARC was imminent and toured Europe in search of financial support and co-operation for the post-conflict transition period.
Nevertheless recently a series of scandals and setbacks have followed – news broke that Santos allowed FARC leader ‘Timochenko’ to travel to Cuba surreptitiously to take part in peace talks. Another major illegal electronic surveillance operation by Colombian military was revealed, targeting journalists, diplomats and government officials involved with the peace process. The FARC killed two guards from the indigenous Nasa community and kidnapped Army General Rubén Darío Alzate - the highest-ranking military official ever captured by the FARC.
In light of recent developments, it is a good time to take stock of where the peace process currently is, where it is going, and what real progress has been made since the talks officially began in 2012.
Canning House is delighted to welcome a specialist panel to analyse the current situation: Andrei Gomez-Suarez, Associate Researcher, Centre for Criminology (University of Oxford), Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research, Lecturer at Los Andres University in Bogota, and member of BACUP and ReD; Professor Jenny Pearce, Professor of Latin American Politics, Director of International Centre for Participation Studies at Bradford University; and Kristian Herbolzheimer, Director of the Colombia and Philippines programmes at Conciliation Resources. Both Andrei and Jenny have spent the past months carrying out research in Colombia, and Kristian is travels regularly to and from the country. All are particularly well placed to provide insight into the peace process, and the feeling towards it on the ground.
This is a joint event with Rodeemos el Dialogo.