Through a series of deft maneuvers, President Santos has helped ensure the acceptance and implementation of the peace accord, while still upholding Colombia’s constitution and respecting the will of its people. It’s driving the opposition nuts.
Colombia’s remaining guerrilla group, the ELN, is finally coming to the negotiating table. But the government is in a very different negotiating position with the ELN than with FARC, a point reflected in the vague, poorly worded negotiation agreement announced March 30th.
With less than a month before the deadline to sign the peace accord, the government must do a better job of promoting the agreement and refuting its critics’ dishonest attacks.
The peace deal with the FARC is not an automatic remedy for the consequences and collateral damage of Colombia’s violent past, but failure to approve it in the popular referendum would be disastrous to the country.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is not the only president to have wagered his legacy on the possibility of peace. But securing both his legacy and peace will require avoiding the mistakes of past negotiations.