Peace is Coming to Colombia

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2015
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Foreign Policy: Democracy Lab, 14th May 2015
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Colombia is facing a key challenge familiar to many countries attempting to transition out of armed conflict: conducting peace negotiations while armies are still on the battlefield. With the FARC rebel group’s recent violation of its self-imposed ceasefire that resulted in the killing of 11 Colombian army soldiers, the peace talks have had a bumpy couple of months. But despite what some have argued, the sky is not falling. The talks are best understood as an elaborate political kabuki dance, high on posturing and symbolism, and regularly featuring both setbacks and shows of good faith. Though negotiators are walking a dangerous tightrope, the peace process has proven robust so far. So despite several mishaps (including another battle at the end of April), the progress to date and the underlying structure of the conflict are still forcing the parties toward a deal.