The Slow Death of Colombia’s Peace Deal

A Spate of Murders Exposes the Government’s Broken Promises

Colombian indigenous groups perform a ceremony for Rodrigo Londoño in Bogotá, Colombia, September 2017 Henry Romero / Reuters

On November 24, 2016, at a somber ceremony in Bogotá, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Rodrigo Londoño—leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist-Leninist rebel group—signed a historic pact to end Latin America’s longest-running conflict.

Less than three years later, Colombia’s peace process is unraveling. Santos’s successor, conservative President Iván Duque, campaigned on a promise to dismantle the 2016 accord, appealing to segments of Colombian society that wanted a more punitive deal for the FARC. Once in office, Duque found himself constrained by the Constitutional Court, which ruled that he, along with the next two presidents of Colombia, must implement the peace deal. The international community has also continued to express strong support for the accord. And so Duque has trod a dangerous middle path, claiming to support peace while at the same time defunding or derailing key provisions of the deal.

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