Factoring the economy into Colombia’s peace agreement: what has failed?

Abstract

After five decades of war and four years of negotiations, in October 2016 the government of Colombia and the FARC guerilla movement signed a peace agreement. The 2016 Peace Agreement contains significant political measures to be adopted; creates innovative transitional justice mechanisms; and addresses important issues connected to the roots of organised violence in the country, particularly issues related to injustices and unequal access to land in the rural sector, as well as illicit economies. However, as with peace agreements in other countries, it is limited in the way it addresses the underlying economic causes of the conflict. The Agreement presents a series of important reforms, particularly for the rural sector. It listed them, though, isolated from the country’s broader economic context and its neoliberal model. It is also limited and unspecific in its measures to reform the link between armed conflict and illicit economies. These limitations have worked against the Agreement’s successful implementation.

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