by Daniel Montoya
Has the time finally come for peace? This is the question Colombians are asking themselves as peace talks are being held in Havana, Cuba between the Colombian government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), a militant Marxist rebel group responsible for a fifty-year long civil war, which resulted in generations of Colombians growing up without ever knowing peace. FARC describes themselves as a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary group based on agrarian equality and anti-imperialistic rhetoric. This group emerged from the power struggle between the liberals and conservatives during the decade known as La Violencia from 1948-1958, set off by the murder of liberal presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán in 1948. From there, violence ensued and claimed the lives of 300,000 individuals, mostly farmers and peasants. The period ended when the liberal and conservative parties agreed to the National Front, a pact that stipulated that every election cycle the parties would alternate turns in power. The government established agricultural-complex estates across the nation designed for exportation rather than local consumption.
For more on this story, visit: Can Peace Finally Happen? – Harvard Political Review.