Colombia’s peace process following a deal with the country’s largest and longest-living guerrilla group can’t be meddled with by whichever administration takes office after the 2018 election, two ministers told newspaper El Tiempo.
According to Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo and post-conflict presidential adviser Rafael Pardo, both in charge of its implementation, said that a reversal of the terms will not be possible no matter who replaces President Juan Manuel Santos next year.
“Whoever wins, wins but it will be impossible to tear it to shreds,” said Cristo, referring to threats by hard-right opposition party Democratic Center, whose leaders are embroiled in war crime allegations.
“Nobody who wins the elections will be able to remove the passengers of the peace plane,” added Pardo.
Both officials are confident that by the time the elections come around the major parts of the peace agreement will have been implemented, refuting claims by the hard-right opposition it would “shred the fucking deal to pieces” should they win the election.
Pardo explained that there are about five subcommittees working at the moment to compile eight bills that will be put to Congress on July 20 through which pending rules for the reintegration of the rebels into society will be processed.
This “Framework Plan” will modify the pre-existing “Development Plan” incorporating 800 themes that will be implemented over the next 15 years with funding overseen by a Council for Economic and Social Policy (CONPES).
The reassurances from Cristo and Pardo regarding the future of the peace process come as former presidents Andres Pastrana and Uribe look likely to team up for next year’s election in an attempt to derail the implementation of the deal that will see the FARC enter mainstream politics in Colombia.
Uribe’s hard-right Democratic Center are a force to be reckoned with as they are proven masters in the art of deception, already admitting to using falsehoods coercing Colombia’s electorate into a vote against the original peace agreement in a referendum last October.
The opposition most recently spurred a conspiracy theory that the FARC has only surrendered half of its weapons, in spite United Nations certification the FARC has fully disarmed.
The former president and many of his political allies have a vested interests as a Truth Commission and a Transitional Justice Tribunal that is currently being set up to seek justice for Colombia’s 8 million war victims.
In addition to the political threat to the implementation of the deal, a security crisis that has seen the murder at least 37 social leaders since December 1 following it’s signing has being unfolding.
Recognizing the complexity of the threat against the left as the FARC attempt to reintegrate and enter politics, the United Nations Security Council has agreed to continue monitoring and verifying Colombia’s peace process for another three years.
The slaughter of social leaders and several FARC guerrillas’ family members has been carried out primarily by a variety of groups, many of whom formed during and after the demobilization of paramilitary umbrella organization AUC under the former president.
The Medellin-based Oficina de Envigado, once formed by slain drug lord and former Congressman Pablo Escobar and with ongoing ties with corrupt elements within the state and reportedly the local elite, has already said it will kill any guerrilla trying to reintegrate into society.
Other paramilitary groups like the Aguilas Negras, ideologically aligned with Uribe, have also been accused of threatening and killing victims of land theft and community leaders considered key in a more grass-roots implementation of peace.