Harsh perhaps, but sadly true: Colombia is dropping the ball badly on implementing the FARC peace accord.
Its 1,300 words are behind a paywall. Here’s a sample:
On reintegration of ex-fighters: Incredibly, to this day the implementation process is still missing one of its most essential elements: a written plan for how to help all former guerrillas earn legal livelihoods and adjust to post-combat life. As a result, with so many ex-combatants left idle, “dissident” groups of rearmed guerrillas are growing fast: Their membership now totals about 1,200, up from 300 a year ago.
On filling “ungoverned spaces”: Strangest of all, the Colombian government just hasn’t been filling the territorial vacuum. Except for infrequent visits from government agencies created to implement the accord, mainly to hold meetings, the presence of the state has changed little in vast areas of the countryside that were historically under FARC domination or influence.
On U.S. policy: It’s so important that the U.S. Congress undid the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 aid cuts to Colombia, maintaining current funding levels for programs that are crucial to the early phases of the peace deal’s implementation. U.S. officials also need to be aware that helping Colombia to govern ungoverned areas, as envisioned in the accord, offers the best hope for permanent reductions in coca cultivation. People don’t grow illicit crops where there’s a government presence.