by Jennifer Garcia
Former Colombian rebels have suspended their campaign for representation in the country’s democracy due to the killings of their activists mounting threats against those who remained, including their presidential nominee. The right to run for office was granted to the rebels on condition of surrendering their weapons; a deal that ended decades of war in Colombia. The decision to pull back the campaign has disrupted Colombia’s peace.
The war with the main rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), left more than 200,00 people dead over the course of 52 years. In an effort to mediate the violence, peace accords were signed in 2016: they include provisions concerning the settlement of war crimes, investments to help farmers move away from the drug trade, and an effort to establish a Colombian government presence in rebel controlled areas. However, the courts have not yet addressed these issues even a year after their implementation. Drug production is still prominent and several rural towns do not have a single police officer.