“Historic Peace Agreement with FARC in Colombia”

Wikistrat recently concluded a brainstorming session in which analysts were asked to propose major news stories for 2014. Written in the form of a newspaper report, the following scenario predicts a peace accord between Colombia’s government and the FARC.

HAVANA (November 30) — Colombia’s government has signed an historic peace treaty with FARC rebels that puts an end to half a century of civil conflict.

After two years of negotiations and amidst huge domestic and international expectations, a signing ceremony took place in Havana on Saturday that was attended by Presidents Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and Raúl Castro of Cuba.

The comprehensive agreement covers land property and rural policies, political participation for now-disarmed FARC members, drug policy, justice and reintegration, and implementation.

The step has resonated internationally with congratulations coming from the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

Most Colombian political parties also welcomed the deal that is expected to “open a new chapter in Colombian history,” El Espectador, the nation’s oldest newspaper, opined.

Only supporters of former president Álvaro Uribe, including some in the military, denounce the treaty as a rendition of the state to terrorism.

Full implementation of the accords might prove difficult. Changes in drug policies, intended to substitute forced eradication of illicit crops for negotiated agreements with rural communities and the provision of adequately funded and timed programs of alternative development, could put further distance between Colombia and the United States as the “drug war” in the country seems to have reached its end.

The agreement also contains provisions for transitional justice to be applied to former FARC combatants with measures for social reintegration. The International Criminal Court in The Hague has warned that the absence of national prosecution initiatives for war crimes could oblige it to intervene in Colombia’s affairs.

Wikistrat Analyst Mabel Gonzalez Bustelo contributed to this scenario.

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