War-less Colombia does not necessarily mean peace

By Hanna Kim

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Since a plebiscite narrowly rejected a peace accord between the Colombian government and leftist rebels, there have been countless protests across the country favouring an end to hostilities. (Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images). Photo posted on CBC.ca

While the Americans bite their nails as they delve deeper and deeper into the election process, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos received the Nobel Peace Prize for establishing a peace treaty that would end the half-century long war between the paramilitary groups, the Communist guerrilla groups, and the Colombian government.

However, the people of Colombia, given the choice of peace, have opted for extended war.

According to CBC World News, the peace treaty invites the rebel groups to join “civilian life” once they choose to give up their weapons. As obvious it may seem to choose peace, most of what the peace treaty asks for is risky and unfair because it requires the people of Colombia to accept a group of people who are, whether directly or indirectly, responsible for the chaos and violence that has been happening in the recent years.

While the rebel and paramilitary groups sought to defeat one another in a fight for control, innocent civilians were left to deal with a life of constant fear and escape. While the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), one of the Communist guerrilla groups, was created when a group of people saw the mistreatment of the poor and decided that they had had enough, they have been responsible for kidnappings, drug dealings, and other crimes harmful to many.

The paramilitary groups, however, who originally intended to deal with the Communist guerrilla groups, have been accused themselves of failing to comply with numerous humanitarian rights, as evidenced by multiple massacres.

Peace is an end goal that not only the innocent civilians but also the soldiers and the Communists all wish to achieve. While Santos is hopeful that peace can be found in a war-less Colombia, the people who have been in the middle of the battle between paramilitary groups and the rebel groups, see peace as bringing justice for the 220,000 lives lost in that struggle for control.

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Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper

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