Pastrana and the peace

I have a new article up at Latin America Goes Global, the excellent site managed by Chris Sabatini and company. The piece draws on my research in Latin America Confronts the United States on the initiation of Plan Colombia, in the context of Colombia’s previous round of peace talks with the FARC under President Andrés Pastrana.

Pastrana has emerged as one of the most vocal opponents of the current peace accord, negotiated by the administration of Juan Manuel Santos. Given his own legacy, this has surprised many — including some prominent members of the Pastrana administration’s peace effort.

In the article, I describe Pastrana’s own commitment to peace during his presidency, describe his opposition to the current accords (drawing on his prodigious public commentary), and compare those criticisms to his legacy.

Pastrana’s own peace talks didn’t get far beyond establishing a 12-point agenda. The president was famously jilted for a meeting by FARC commanders.

From the piece:

“While many foreigners have been swept up in the excitement over the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), Colombia’s own political class is more divided. For one, President Juan Manuel Santos faces stiff opposition from two of his presidential predecessors, Álvaro Uribe and Andrés Pastrana.

The positions these former presidents have adopted—and how those positions are perceived—matter. Both men, especially Uribe, retain influential bully pulpits. Though, to a lesser degree, Pastrana’s word also carries weight as a president who himself tried and failed to reach a peace agreement with the FARC.”

Read the rest at LAGG.


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