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Only one and a half months after the first peaceful deal between the Colombian government and FARC rebels was rejected by the Colombians in a referendum, a new version of the agreement was signed by the parties on November 12. What is new in Version 2.0? Is peace about to be secured? 

Find Five Differences

As you remember from my article on the referendum, the Colombians said «no» to the first version of the agreement; the guerrilla fighters’ political involvement, the situation of the conflict victims (especially women), and a number of institutional and procedure mechanisms of the agreement implementation being the stumbling stone for that. I will also remind you that the Colombian opposition with Álvaro Uribe leading the campaign for agreement rejection, announced their willingness to help the government develop a new agreement immediately after the plebiscite. The new agreement would incorporate all the comments and concerns of those who refused to sign the agreement for a variety of reasons. The President Juan Manuel Santos took the offer demonstrating his political intuition and ability to accept criticism, which is rare for high-ranking politicians. Meetings with opposition leaders, conflict victims’ rights protection movements, and religious organisations set the tone for the new round of negotiations in Havana. The foundation for the new agreement was based upon the opposition’s critical comments and suggestions, in some of the areas, 90% of the suggestions were taken into account.

 

REUTERS/Enrique de la Osa

Colombia's FARC lead negotiator Ivan Marquez (C) and Colombia's lead government negotiator Humberto de la Calle shake hands while Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez looks on, after signing a new peace deal to end their 52-year war in Havana, Cuba, November 12, 2016.

 

For now, unfortunately, the full text of the agreement is not publicly available, though the Colombian government promised to upload it in the upcoming days. The detailed comparison of the first version of the agreement and the second is not possible yet, but at least we can point out the following text modifications from the official on-the-record information:

 

Firstly, the agreement will not be a constituent of the Constitution. It will possibly make the  implementation of the agreement and further reforms easier.

 

Secondly, some of the fundamental changes were added regarding the conflict victims, especially women, who happened to be one of the most conflict-stricken groups. What measures will be taken is still unclear, but they will definitely serve to protect the rights and to promote security for female victims of the conflict. The same changes being done regarding religious groups, who are now recognised as victims of the conflict.

 

Thirdly, the legal process mechanism, which is supposed to review guerilla’s case in the transition period (La Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz), its formation and functioning are being subject to change. A significant addition being the article on the Сonstitutional Сourt of the Republic being the authority to reconsider the decisions made by the jurisdiction.

 

Fourthly, some of the amendments were made in terms of FARC further political activity, namely the financial expenses of the party that will be created by the former guerrilla in order to take part in the political process legally.

 

One bad thing about the agreement is the opposition leaders’ political involvement sensitive issue being left intact, though they are directly responsible for the FARC crimes. This part of the agreement was not changed and apparently bears quite a destructive charge. Hopefully, the text of the agreement includes some serious rebels’ concessions to compensate for that, otherwise, the situation looks like the Colombian government was in a rush to sign the peaceful agreement even at the sacrifice of its quality. In this case, the peace on Colombian land is again too early to speak of. 

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