September 27, 2016


By Arturo P. Garcia


In a Caribbean resort city of Cartagena–the former capital of Colombia also known as Nueva Espana, the Colombian government and the country’s largest rebel group-the Frente Revolucionaria Armadas de Colombia (FARC) signed a peace agreement on Monday evening, September 26, 2016

The ceremony, held in Cartagena, brought an end to a 52-year-old war with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the longest armed insurgency in South America. .

The war started more than 50 years ago when the Conservative Party composed of landlords and capitalist refused to give democratic space to the Liberal party composed of Peasants and Professional. Instead they waged a brutal war to suppress the people who toil the lands.

In frustration, the peasant armed themselves. Led by the legendary leader Manuel Marulanda aka TiroFijo (Sure Shot). they and fought a long guerilla war against the reactionary government. Later, they joined the the FARC and its grew into a large force with a liberated area as big as Switzerland.

Very different from the Philippines, the war in Colombia, also known as “La Violencia” was an fratricidal war between Colombians. Unlike in Colombia, the Americans gave the Philippines a virtual reality of self-rule, democratic elections that made the ruling class happy to oppress the poor majority. The FARC has to fight for its rights by the use of arms.

The only similarity was the Colombian government is propped up by the United States just like in the Philippines.The equation changed when Cuba, supported the FARC and other armed groups in Latin and South America the late 1960’s.

“What we sign today is a declaration from the Colombian people before the world that we are tired or war,” President Juan Manuel Santos said in his prepared remarks,

The sitting president , Santos who was then the Defense Minister shook the hands of the very rebel leader whom government forces had once hunted in the mountains, as the two sides pledged a future of peaceful politics.

“Let no one doubt that we will now pursue politics without weapons,” said Rodrigo Londoño, alias Commandante Timoshenko the top commander of the FARC, offering an apology to the war’s victims.

The peace process was a result of four years of intense negotiations mostly held in Havana, Cuba. When the peace agreement was signed in havana, the final signing was scheduled in Colombia.

All told, some 220,000 people lost their lives, and more than five million were displaced.Many argued that the time had come at last to end generations of unrest.


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