2016年的9月28日，哥倫比亞總統桑托斯(Juan Manuel Santos)與哥倫比亞游擊戰軍革命武裝力量(FARC)的總指揮提莫千歌(Timochenko)簽署一份歷史性的協議，結束西方僵持最久的軍事衝突。過去52年來，FARC與哥倫比亞政府之間的血腥衝突，導至約26萬人因此喪命、4500人失蹤，4800萬人口的哥倫比亞，有670萬人流離失所。在超過五年的斡旋之後，雙方終於簽下和平協議，並以一只子彈製成的筆簽下協議。這是一項極具歷史意義的和平協議。
所有的衝突都不盡相同，但是所有的和平協商過程，都面臨類似的挑戰與爭議。結束北愛爾蘭衝突的「受難日協議」(Good Friday Agreement) 的主要斡旋者，之後擔任桑托斯諮詢顧問的鮑爾(Jonathan Powel)表示：「這裡面是有既定的模式可循。當衝突的兩方都面臨受傷的僵局，兩方發現都無法在戰爭中取勝時，就可能達成協議。」
政治分析家傑洛多(Fernando Giraldo)跟「衛報」(The Guardian)說，政府與游擊戰隊都承諾支持和平，雖然令人樂觀，但是前途仍然不明。他表示：「公投將所有的規則都清清楚楚列出，可是我們卻卡在灰色地帶。」
在《力與愛》一書中，作者亞當‧卡漢提到「命運哥倫比亞」的情境規畫專案也因為在團體內產生細微、看不見、非直向的改變，而在世界上創造出有感、看得見的改變。當時這個專案的成員包括政治、商界、公民團體、軍隊領袖 – 包括當時有衝突的軍方主要人士。這個專案針對哥倫比亞的未來詳細討論、撰寫出四個情境：
- 力與愛-一趟引導社會變革的世界紀實, 第二章, 朝邦文教基金會出版
The Colombian peace process
On 26 September 2016 the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the top guerrilla commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Timochenko, signed a historic peace agreement ending the longest armed conflict in the western hemisphere. The 52 years of bloody conflict between the FARC and the Colombian government has left 260,000 people dead, 45,000 disappeared, and 6.7 million people displaced out of a Colombian population of 48 million. The peace agreement was signed with a pen made from a bullet after more than five years of negotiations. The stakes of this peace accord are monumental.
At the signing, President Santos declared “Colombia celebrates, the planet celebrates because there is one less war in the world!” On behalf of the FARC Timochenko asked the Colombian people for forgiveness and declared that “We are being reborn to launch a new era of reconciliation and of building peace… let us all be prepared to disarm our hearts."
While these words earned a standing ovation that would have been unthinkable not long ago, and on 7 October 2016 President Santos received the nobel peace prize for this peace process, Colombians remain deeply divided over the deal struck with FARC. The hard work of actually implementing the peace still lies ahead.
The Peace Process
Every conflict is different, but every peace process has similar challenges and controversies. “There’s a pattern," says Jonathan Powell, who was chief negotiator on the Good Friday Agreement that ended the conflict in Northern Ireland, and served as an adviser to President Santos. “You usually get to an agreement when there is a mutually hurting stalemate, so both sides realise they can’t win militarily” said Powell.
In order to advance the process, the negotiators first agreed on a fixed agenda before formally starting the negotiations. The agenda was based on a signed preliminary General Agreement that was constructed over a year and a half of secret negotiations and functioned as a framework defining which demands can be made and which not.
One of the toughest challenges which bedevils every peace process is the balance between peace and justice. In Colombia’s peace agreement, transitional justice would be managed by special tribunals to try FARC members, as well as soldiers and police in Colombian security forces, for alleged war crimes. There is also a process, inspired by South Africa’s Peace and Reconciliation Commission, which allows fighters to admit to their actions, and serve punishments ranging from community service to restrictions on their movements.
But a 52-year war means a generation of pain and distrust. Some are ready to forgive, even if they cannot forget; but others are not. “We want peace, but this accord will not bring peace," said senator Luis Araujo, whose father was kidnapped by the FARC for six years. “They need to spend more time in jail."
“You have to strike a balance," says Mr Powell. “In Northern Ireland, we let IRA terrorists out of jail after just two years. …It was a very difficult thing to do… But if you go to a terrorist leader and say, ‘I want you to sign this agreement to make peace and go to jail for 35 years,’ they won’t be ready to sign."
If the history of peace deals have any lessons, it is that most fall apart. The FARC came from a Marxist-Leninist peasant revolt, and now must move away from its vast and lucrative network of criminal activities, including trades in drugs, kidnappings and extortion, in exchange for entering the country’s institutional democratic process.
“Any dialogue between human beings changes them," says Norwegian special envoy Dag Nylander, whose country, along with Cuba, served as guarantors to Colombia’s peace process. “We thought this process was impossible," said President Santos when asked him if Colombia offers any hope for other intractable conflicts. But he also offered some caution as well, “It would be a deal that will not satisfy everybody but will bring peace – and that’s a better deal than continuing the war."
Following the signing, all that would be needed is for voters to approve the agreement in a nationwide referendum.
That referendum was held on 2 October 2016; and 50.2 percent voted against the peace agreement, meaning that the deal struck between Santos and FARC can not be implemented.
Why did voters reject it?
Santos’ presidential predecessor, Álvaro Uribe, is widely credited with the crackdown that brought FARC to the negotiating table and he has also become the leader of the movement to reject the agreement through the referendum. Uribe calls Santos a “traitor" for treating the guerrillas to easily. “With these agreements, there is neither justice nor truth for the victims,” said Mr. Uribe, who is now an opposition senator in Congress.
According to the BBC, opponents of the deal feared that allowing former FARC members to participate in the country’s political process as a legitimate political party could open the door to disastrous radical left-wing policies like those in Cuba and Venezuela. And some opponents of the peace deal simply didn’t believe that the FARC was sincere in its intentions to lay down arms and make peace with the government.
What happens now?
The peace agreement as it was written cannot be implemented without an approval by referendum, so it will have to be renegotiated. President Santos has promised to “continue the search for peace until the last moment of my mandate, because that’s the way to leave a better country to our children … I won’t give up,” he said. Speaking to journalists in Havana after Sunday’s referendum results, Timochenko said that his group remains committed to ending the conflict, “Count on us, peace will triumph."
Fernando Giraldo, a political analyst, told the Guardian that the fact that both the government and guerrillas reiterated their commitment to peace was a good sign yet the future remains unclear. “The plebiscite laid everything out in black and white and now we’re stuck in a grey area,” he said.
And yet, there are many reasons to still feel positive. The first reason is because peace fundamentally comes from every individual who realises it in their hearts, minds and actions. Watch this TED talk about a group of people who saw an opportunity to inspire Colombia’s guerrilla fighters to demobilise by using Christmas trees and personalised messages strategically placed throughout the jungle. The talk gives you a look at the creative messages that has led thousands of guerrillas to personally abandon war.
In the book Power and Love, Adam Kahane highlights the Destino Colombia scenario project which has also generated tangible and visible change in the world by using subtle, invisible, and nonlinear changes within and among us. The project team included political, business, civil society, and military leaders—including representatives of all the main armed groups in the ongoing conflict. The process produced four carefully argued, beautifully written scenarios for the future of Colombia; they are:
- “When the Sun Rises We’ll See”- a scenario describing the chaos that would result if Colombians just let things continue as usual and fail to address their tough challenges.
- “A Bird in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush” – a scenario depicting a negotiated compromise between the government and the guerrillas.
- “Forward March!” – a scenario in which the government, supported by a population frustrated with the continuing violence and operating from the principle that “a hard problem requires a hard solution,” implements a policy of crushing the guerrillas militarily and pacifying the country.
- “In Unity Lies Strength” – a scenario of a bottom-up transformation of the country’s mentality toward greater mutual respect and cooperation.
These scenarios and the process that created them offer useful lessons for collaborative, future-creating efforts elsewhere. Destino Colombia continues to inspire cross-sectoral dialogue and action to address the country’s daunting social, economic and environmental challenges ahead.
From Colombia’s experience comes the insight that peace comes from empathising with one other as humans; not as the functions we play in our social roles – as militant, victim or adversary. Peace comes from realising that we are bound together within a shared nation, upon a shared globe, and our mutual pursuit for happiness is better achieved through peace and dialogue.
- Power and Love- A Theory and Practice of Social Change by Adam Kakane, Chapter 2