United States and peace building in Colombia
With the Plan Colombia, Colombia was the main recipient of U.S. foreign aid in Latin America and model to an intervention form directed at strengthening government. Now the Paz Colombia (Colombian Peace) program will help create conditions for the post-conflict.Bogotá D. C., 26 de septiembre de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
The spread of armed conflicts in the Middle East and Africa could have a negative bearing on the continuity of economic support to Colombia.
For a detailed analysis of the issue read the book El Plan Colombia: la intervención de Estados Unidos en Colombia 1998–2012 of Professor Diana Marcela Rojas.
Part of the funds will be destined to eradication, non-proliferation, antiterrorism and demining programs.
“The Obama administration is attentive to the results of the plebiscite as well as the commitments for its implementation,” claims Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Political Studies and International Relationships Institute (IEPRI, for its Spanish acronym) Professor Diana Marcela Rojas in an article recently published in UN Periódico.
Rojas says United States has shown a decided support to the peace talks and as a consequence appointed Bernie Aronson as special envoy.
Now the Paz Colombia program hopes to contribute to promote conditions in this new stage by sending funds to finance programs. For 2017 the Obama administration will contribute US $450 million to be distributed around four main elements.
Resources for the post-conflict
“The first one is directed at funding territorial peace, increasing government presence in traditionally abandoned areas and victim attention programs. USAID will be in charge of these programs,” added Rojas.
The second element is for programs devoted to fight against drug trafficking, helping cocaine crop hand eradication, maritime and aerial interdiction as well as sponsoring technical cooperation in antinarcotics matters with other counties of the region.
The third element will be focused on military assistance to support Colombian military in consolidating progress around security achieved during the Plan Colombia.
The last element is in regards to the Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Program (NADR) which will finance a multilateral demining program.
15 years of the Plan Colombia
Rojas says that 2016 marked 15 years of the Plan Colombia though which the Colombian government hoped to finalize the armed conflict with financial, economic and military support from the United States.
The Plan Colombia was conceived to intensify the antinarcotics battle and swiftly turned into a legitimated war on terrorism in the global war against terrorism declared by George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks on U.S. soil of 2001.
Later the plan helped consolidate the democratic security of Presidents Uribe and Santos contributing to create the necessary conditions for a peace negotiation with the Farc terrorist group. The assistance calculated in US $10,000 million turned Colombia into the main recipient of U.S. help for the region and model to an intervention form directed at strengthening the Colombian government.
15 years later the results are unanimous. On one hand the guerrilla was military and politically weakened as supported by decreasing violence rates and recovery of safety conditions in several regions of the country. The international perception of the country also changed favorably and support from Washington was decisive when it came to create consensus among the Colombian elite and legitimize the pacification strategy among the citizenship.
However, on the other hand the factors which have contributed to the continuance of the armed conflict are still present such as the fight against drugs which continues to be a lost battle which feeds diverse violence forms such as the so-called criminal bands, a result of a recycling of guerillas and paramilitaries.
Furthermore institutional shortcomings such as political corruption are elements which promote indifference and weakness of the democratic system. Poverty conditions and underdevelopment are the substrate for social injustice and discomfort among a significant part of the population. Then without being the panacea for all the wrong in Colombia and with contrasting results, the Plan Colombia contributed to building the bases for the end of the war.
Read the article in its entirety in Spanish at en UN Periódico.(Por: Fin/DMR/DMH/APBL