Conscious Curls- The things we should be talking about (usually) in 250 words or less
A sad Conscious Curls today.
Background on the Colombian Civil Conflict:
- One if the world’s longest-running civil wars (began in 1964)
- Combatants = Colombian government, paramilitary groups, and guerrilla groups
- ~200,000 killed in the violence (vast majority were civilians)
- Millions more forcibly displaced
Clearly, putting an end to this war is important. Though the level of violence has dropped since the late 2000’s, it’s an ongoing problem.
The larger of Colombia’s two main rebel groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has been involved in peace talks with the Colombian government for the past two years.
In December, the FARC announced a ceasefire on their side until further notice. Initially, the government was skeptical, and refused to reciprocate. But in March, because the FARC had been sticking to its word, President Juan Manuel Santos declared a month-long suspension on aerial strikes against it. The government would watch the group’s actions, and after that month, decide whether or not to extend the suspension.
The FARC wasn’t impressed by this, though because ground attacks persisted. The group wanted Santos to halt all attacks, and insisted that continuing to attack the rebels on the ground was putting the peace talks, and their ceasefire at risk.
So, April came, and the deadline passed. Santos announced an extension on the suspension- the FARC had stuck to their word.
10 soldiers were killed, and 21 were wounded in a suspected FARC attack.
On Wednesday, Santos announced that airstrikes would resume.
Though the peace talks are continuing, this is undoubtedly a huge setback. The talks had critics from the start. Many believed that the government shouldn’t negotiate with the group, and instead, focus on… well, killing them. Many believed the FARC could not be trusted, and obviously, this incident just supports that argument.
The FARC has expressed “concern” over the attack, but claims the government is at fault for not reciprocating the ceasefire.
After so much unprecedented progress has been made, this is an extremely sad turn of events. We’ll see how this tragedy effects public opinion on the peace negotiations.
TL;DR: Colombian Peace Talks Take 1 Step Forward, 10 Steps Back *sigh*