Speaking in the Vista Hermosa municipality in Meta, the president said, “By reason or by force, we are going to achieve a peaceful country.”
He stated that if the FARC insist on continuing with violence rather than disarming and entering peace talks then “the only future left for them … is going to be a tomb or prison,” adding that the guerrillas should use the demobilization process offered by the government as a path back into society.
The choice of Meta for this speech is particularly apt as the department has historically been a FARC stronghold.
It is also the location where the government piloted its Consolidation Plan, an initiative aimed at re-establishing the state’s presence in areas previously held by guerrillas.
Santos highlighted the plan’s success in the region, reiterating his government’s commitment to the people but added that civilians must commit and cooperate in order to fully drive out terrorism from communities.
Speaking in front of the U.N. on Monday, Vice President Angelino Garzon said that the door to peace is very much open in Colombia should the FARC renounce all terrorist activities and release all remaining hostages.