Deal Or No Deal in Colombia
With an unexpected Papal endorsement of the peace negotiations and the UN General Assembly a week away, the timing was perfect for it. Never mind that there was nothing to publicize. Santos and the FARC slapped together a press release, posed for a photo-op and called it “historic.”
By Lia Fowler
October 1 / 2015
After Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced a peace deal with the narco-terrorist group FARC, (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) last week, Secretary of State John Kerry called Santos personally to congratulate him. President Obama cited Colombia as an example for the world for pursuing “an inclusive peace.” Even Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress — who should know a thing or two about crimes against humanity and victim reparations — described the so-called deal as a “blueprint for other parts of the world.” It was foolish to back a deal they had yet to see.
Nine days since the announcement, Santos has yet to produce a document of the agreement, and fighting between the government and the FARC over exactly what they agreed upon has already begun.
A key point of the peace agreement is how FARC leaders will pay for crimes against humanity. Nobody knows. It was not clarified during the announcement and there is no document to reference. The high commissioner for peace, Sergio Jaramillo, said this week that negotiations were ongoing regarding many details, such as the location of geographic zones where FARC members would be confined to carry out their sentences. FARC leaders, however, immediately denied having agreed to any such confinement zones.
In an interview with Colombian daily El Tiempo, Retired General Jorge Enrique Mora, who is on the Government’s negotiation team, explained that what had been announced was a “general concept”, adding “the agreement, which is still being drafted, is a lot more comprehensive and detailed.” However, the FARC stated through their website that they only agreed to the deal as announced, and that negotiations on matters of justice were closed.
The Inspector General, Alejandro Ordonez, has asked – sensibly and repeatedly — that the government produce a document of the agreement. The government has not obliged.
What is becoming clear, is that the announcement of a deal last week was just a publicity stunt. With an unexpected Papal endorsement of the peace negotiations and the UN General Assembly a week away, the timing was perfect for it. Never mind that there was nothing to publicize. Santos and the FARC slapped together a press release, posed for a photo-op and called it “historic.” Then Santos went on a junket to the U.N. General Assembly in New York to sell his act on a world stage.
The world bought it. But the U.S. government should be asking itself what, exactly, it endorsed.