Colombia's Santos takes office hoping to end 50 years of violence

by Jim Wyss, The Miami Herald

Aug 07, 2014

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Even so, most believe a peace deal will be signed in coming months. Negotiators have already reached agreements on three out of the six parts of the peace plan. A delegation of 60 victims, who have suffered at the hands of the guerrillas, the state and demobilized paramilitary groups, will be heading to Cuba soon. And as negotiators tackle the issue of how to deal with victims they’re also looking at the final points: ending the armed confrontation and verification mechanisms.

Cynthia Arnson, the director of the Latin America Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, predicts “very rocky” times ahead as negotiators enter delicate territory.

“As they discuss the issue of victims of the conflict it’s inevitable that they will talk about questions of impunity for those who have committed war crimes and are responsible for gross human rights violations,” she said. “And that will be a very, very difficult issue as it is in any peace process.”

The real troubles may come once a deal is signed, said César Valderrama, the president of the Datexco polling firm. During his hard-fought reelection campaign, Santos often portrayed the peace agreement as silver bullet for the country.

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