Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos announced Monday that Colombia needs a new strategy for peace that will allow the country to overcome 40 years of the current conflict.
Santos made the announcement at a constitutional meeting on the sustainability of peace in the country. The president said, “we need a strategy that can take us definitively out of the cycles of violence and create a sustainable and long lasting peace.”
Santos argued that one of the reasons for ongoing rural violence has been the use and possession of land in rural areas, with many people being stripped of their lands or displaced by illegal armed groups. The president emphasized the importance of rural development in allowing the formalization of property rights and the lawful return of lands to those whose lands had been stripped from them.
Santos also called for the recognition of all of the victims of the violence in any peace process. “Any definitive solution will require that victims of any kind be recognized and that their rights be re-established. Otherwise, not only will injustice persist, but we will not be able to build the consensus that we need to support and secure the end of violence,” said Santos.
According to the president, it is essential not to treat the effects of four decades of conflict like any other political problem, otherwise there will be no real justice for victims and no uncovering of the truth.