sábado, 25 de abril de 2020

Terrorism in Colombia. Negotiating with terrorists encourages more terrorism

Columnist Alejandro Díaz Castro.
Profesional en Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá D.C.

(Ver otras publicaciones del autor)

Abstract: This essay will discuss if negotiating with terrorists encourages more terrorism studying the Colombian case to answer the following questions; the first one, Who has claimed that this assumption can be considered true? and the second one, why it is important to test this assumption? To clarify this, the essay will be written in chronological order; firstly, an introduction about the topic will be done by explaining the details and studying the authors in Colombia who have done this assumption. After that, the importance of studying this topic will be written to continue with academic literature which confirms the facts and ending with a conclusion if the assumption is true, partly true, or false. | Key Words: Terrorism, Colombia, Peace Process.

For more than 50 years Colombia has faced one of the largest conflicts in the recent history, and this conflict finished in November 2016 with the agreement between the Colombian government and ex Revolutionary Colombian Army Forces (FARC for its acronym in Spanish).

However, many people disagreed arguing that this agreement will encourage more terrorism. One of the principal opponents was the ex-president Alvaro Uribe Velez, the leader of the Centro Democratico party who said “terrorism snake when feels that is been suffocated and we have a fork in his neck, right there asks for peace processes so that we can loosen the fork, take oxygen and poison again”

Another representative person who claimed that the negotiation with the Revolutionary Colombian Army Forces (FARC) will encourage more terrorism was Jaime Ruiz the president of the Colombian retired Military Forces who asserted that "The excessive generosity of the State in this process would constitute a great sign of weakness that would be skillfully exploited by terrorists".[1]

Nonetheless, the peace process continued giving satisfactory results in the short term, that is the reason why it is important to test whether the assumption that negotiating with terrorists encourages more terrorism is true or not. To do that is indispensable to check the available data regarding terrorism attacks, solders' death in conflict, and academic opinions about this.

1. Database of the Armed Conflict in Colombia from 2002 to 2017[2]

Before starting the peace process with the guerrilla members it could be said that the ex-president Alvaro Uribe Velez was right since it seems that for numbers of dead people, the Colombian Militarily Army was winning the war. the civilians, however, were being affected in the middle of the conflict.

Nevertheless, the next image which was extracted from the same resource starts showing a slight decrease after Alvaro Uribe finished in 2010 his period as Colombian president which last from 2002 to 2010. Colombian president which last from 2002 to 2010.

Subsequently, On September second, 2012 when the peace negotiation started until September 2016 the rate of death people decrease dramatically to achieve in 2017 the zero percent of people died due to violence caused by the conflict between FARC and Colombian Military Forces as it is shown next.

According to the statistics, it can be said that even though at the beginning the ex-president Alvaro Uribe was right saying that the peace process could be a strategy for the FARC’s side to take out the military pressure over them, in 2017 the statistics showed that the negotiation gave more than satisfactory results.

On the other hand, according to El Tiempo newspaper the ex-guerrilla members who are compromised with the peace process after signing the agreement are 98,6 percent. 3.220 ex-guerrilla members are living in the training and reinstatement camps which were adequate to them, meanwhile, 8,816 ex-guerrilla members are outside of these areas, some of them have returned to their communities, but it does not mean that they are committing crimes.

Additionally, some members of the ex-guerrilla are representing internationally the country. For instance, there is a group of ex-guerrilla who were invited to the World Rafting Championships in Tully, Australia, where they participated out of competition, under the newly-established IRF Peace Flag.[3]

Besides, there are other groups that are exporting coffee, producing craft beer, and selling mountaineering equipment among other projects which have produced more than 18 thousand millions of Colombian pesos and have given a job to more than 1.600 people.

To sum up and talking about the Colombian case, it can be said that until the moment the negotiation did not encourage more terrorism even though the actual government has not fulfilled what was agreed. However, there are some cases where it can be used as a military strategy. For that reason, this assumption can be considered as partly true due to more studies needed.

1. Vanguardia news paper Alvaro Uribe Velez, Colombian ex-president statement https://www.vanguardia.com/deportes/mundial-de-futbol/qla-culebra-del-terrorismo-cuando-esta-asfixiada-ahi-mismo-pide-procesos-de-pazq-uribe-KAVL70194

2. El Tiempo news paper Jaime Ruíz statement https://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-12190023

3. Database of the Armed Conflict in Colombia from 2002 to 2017 https://www.elespectador.com/colombia2020/pais/la-reduccion-de-muertes-en-el-conflicto-despues-del-acuerdo-con-las-farc-articulo-856819

4. Statistics post conflict in Colombia, El Espectador news paper https://www.eltiempo.com/justicia/jep-colombia/en-cifras-que-tan-positivo-es-el-proceso-de-paz-con-las-farc-409208

5. Rafting Peace process https://colombia.unmissions.org/en/rafting-peace-former-farc-ep-members-will-participate-world-rafting-championship-tully-australia

[1] For more information visit https://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-12190023

[2] Database available in https://www.elespectador.com/colombia2020/pais/la-reduccion-de-muertes-en-el-conflicto-despues-del-acuerdo-con-las-farc-articulo-856819

[3] To check more information please visit https://colombia.unmissions.org/en/rafting-peace-former-farc-ep-members-will-participate-world-rafting-championship-tully-australia

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