Peace in Colombia underway!
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel indeed for Colombia’s aspiration for peace as the United States of America today affirmed its commitment to support the Latin American nation to fulfill its peace plan.
In a meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry said President Obama announced that the US government will collaborate on the successor strategy to Plan Colombia, a US-funded plan that aims to solve the problem of drug trafficking and insurgency in the Latin American country.
Secretary Kerry called that strategy Peace Colombia or “Paz Colombia” which will support the Colombian Government’s efforts to provide security and economic opportunities in areas that are vacated by FARC, areas that require also the delivery of justice, and help the Colombians intensify the fight against trafficking in illegal drugs.
In an effort to realize a lasting peace, Secretary Kerry underscored that the United States of America will continue to stand with Colombia as a partner and a friend.
Plan Colombia is the name of a United States military and diplomatic aid initiative that aimed to fight Colombian drug cartels and to end the country’s armed conflict.
Plan Colombia’s Record of Achievement
According to Secretary Kerry, the US responded to Colombia in the late 1990’s when the country became a failed state, besieged by financial difficulties, guerilla movements, and violent drug cartels.
Secretary Kerry said with support from the United States, Colombians have been moving ahead on multiple fronts to improve governance, strengthen the rule of law, build a more inclusive economy, extend protections to journalists and to civil society.
“Plan Colombia’s success was always its comprehensive vision of how security is established, and a commitment to stay the course until the job is done.” – Secretary Kerry
The Work for Peace Is Not Done Yet
Secretary Kerry highlighted that no one is in a celebratory status for there is work to be done.
“We’re here to renew the commitment for these months in order to complete the task.” – Secretary Kerry
Secretary Kerry stressed that as the day of a potential peace agreement may be drawing near, they are not about to be complacent.
He asserted that the same comprehensive approach that brought Colombia this far is needed for the country to sustain its impressive progress and to capitalize on the benefits of peace.
Indeed, the work for peace is not done yet for the Colombian government is set to sign a final peace agreement with the rebels by March 23, bringing an end to the longest civil war in Latin America.
The conflict in Colombia has killed an estimated 225,000 people and displaced six million civilians.