"A peace process in Colombia will be successful if the parties at the table have a real commitment to end the armed conflict," says Aldo Civico, anthropologist and founder of the International Institute for Peace at Rutgers University. Aldo Civico facilitated ceasefire talks with the ELN guerrilla in Colombia from 2005 to 2008.
NEWARK, N.J., Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Aldo Civico, anthropologist and founder of the International Institute for Peace at Rutgers University:
"The moment is ripe in Colombia for a negotiated solution to the five decade long armed conflict. On one hand, the Colombian government, including the armed forces, have come to the conclusion that there is no military victory to the conflict, while the Farc guerrilla has come to the realization that there is no possibility to overthrow the government. The parties are locked in stalemate that is perceived today as mutually harming.
President Santos well understands that there are systemic challenges that the country needs to meet in order to become a fully modern country. Colombia remains the country with the most inequality in the region and spending almost 6 percent of the GDP on defense is not sustainable in the long run. Moreover, when it comes to security, the great challenge today is posed by the so-called criminal bands which control the narco trafficking business. The prolongation of the armed conflict curtails Colombia's ambitions to play an important role politically and economically in the region.
The Farc for the past ten years had to adjust to the military offense by the Colombian armed forces. Their force has been significantly reduced both politically and militarily. In the last couple of years, with a leadership that has today a more urban sensitivity, the Farc has tried to regain not only the military initiative but the political one as well. And a peace process certainly would boost the political profile of the insurgency and help the transition into a political participation within the rules of the democratic game.
A peace process in Colombia will be successful if the parties at the table will have a firm commitment to end the armed conflict, and will not exploit it, as it happened in the past, as an opportunity for short term political gains."
SOURCE Aldo Civico