Colombia’s peace process is “on par or slightly superior to other peace agreements” in spite having implemented less than half of a peace deal reached with Marxist FARC guerrillas last year, according to a study.
The Crok Institute of the American University of Norte Dame released findings on the progress during the first nine months of the historic peace process on Thursday.
The institute has developed a so-called Peace Accord Matrix that allows researchers to monitor the implementation of a peace process.
For the first time in the history of the institute, researchers are able to monitor progress “live.”
While noticing major deficiencies in the development of the peace process, Colombian authorities are doing at least as well as previous peace processes like those in Northern Ireland or South Africa.
The pace of implementation is on par or slightly superior to other peace agreements, and if current obstacles are overcome, this process is on a path toward success.
Research professor Madhav Joshi
The data collected by the researchers allowed the Kroc Institute to measure progress on the 588 concrete peace policies the government vowed to implement as part of the process.
Data is collected through on-the-ground observation and investigation by a mobile team of peace-building professionals based in Colombia.
The institute released the following findings:
- Implementation activity has been initiated in 45 percent of the 558 stipulations in the accord, with no activity observed yet for 55% of the stipulations as of August 31.
- Approximately 17% of the stipulations in the accord have been fully implemented, with 6% at an intermediate level of implementation and 22% at a minimal level of implementation.
- Sixty-one percent of the provisions related to reparations to victims have not been initiated. Thirty-three percent of the provisions related to the promotion of a culture of respect for human rights and the protection of human rights defenders are in the initial phase of implementation.
- Seventy-three percent of the provisions related to the reincorporation of FARC-EP into civilian life (economically, socially and politically) have been partially or completely implemented, while 26 percent have not been initiated.
- No activity has been observed in more than 80 percent of the provisions related to democratic participation and social participation guarantees, which weakens public support and commitment and could delay the implementation in other areas of the accord.
The data-based tracking of the implementation of the 2016 peace accord “provides an impartial scientific assessment of the implementation status across the whole accord, identifying both advances and gaps,” said Jason Quinn, one of the researchers.
The research indicates that the process of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of the FARC’s guerrillas is among the most advanced processes.
However, policies that seek public participation and grant victims’ rights are relatively behind.
Key elements of the peace deal, in particular a political reform and a transitional justice system, are currently debated in Congress and could see their implementation in weeks.
The November 2016 peace deal put an end to more than 50 years of guerrilla violence by the FARC, until last year the hemisphere’s largest guerrilla group and now a political party.