A Partial Peace in Colombia
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/03/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21540
Colombia's peace accord serves capitalist interests, but may also open new space for the grassroots left.
Most of Colombia's independent progressive movements support the accord, but also stress its limitations. The Agrarian Summit (Cumbre Agraria), a nationwide "peasant, ethnic, and popular" coalition formed in 2014, sees in the accord a potential "end to the enormous suffering that the armed conflict has caused." But as it said in November, the right is still "killing us."
In 2016 state and right-wing paramilitary forces killed at least 114 labor unionists, peasants, indigenous people, Afro-descendants and other human rights defenders, including 30 in the three months after the ceasefire began. The paramilitaries have publicly promised that these murders will continue.
Progressive movements like the Summit and the People's Congress, a nationwide peace and justice coalition, strongly reject a "neoliberal peace," one that involves simply "laying down arms" while ignoring the "structural causes" of violence. But the government has refused to challenge the power of capitalists. President Juan Manuel Santos has repeatedly promised that "our model of development isn't changing" and that "private property won't be affected."