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| 2010/10/11 00:00

Colombia: Can the military bring peace?

Octuber 11--Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been in office for just two months but has already hailed the beginning of the end for left-wing rebels who once controlled large swathes of the country.

Colombia: Can the military bring peace?

Two weeks ago, the military commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), Mono Jojoy, was killed during a large-scale military assault on his jungle stronghold.
It was the government's single strongest blow against the Farc in 45 years of counter-insurgency operations.

The challenge for President Santos is now to move from a major military success to peace - to turn a vicious cycle of violence into a virtuous cycle of conflict transformation.

This change could have happened at any time over the last four decades, had the parties to the conflict been serious in their struggle to reach a resolution for the benefit of the people.

Had successive governments been sincere in their commitment to defend Colombians from insecurity, they would have used their power to address the underlying structural problems in the country such as access to land and natural resources, inequity, and violent exclusion of critical voices.

Read more here.

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