A retrospective on the five years after Colombia's peace deal

Three Duke researchers are studying Colombia in this banner image

Five years have passed since Colombia’s peace accords were signed. Three researchers who first met at Duke, Gabriella LevyJuan Tellez, and Mateo Villamizar-Chaparro, explore what has gone well and what has gone not that well, in a new analysis for the Monkey Cage.  

On the one hand, Colombia is less violent in terms of intentional homicides, battle-related deaths and conflict displacement when compared to the 2000s. Moreover, the processes for documenting past violence by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the reincorporation process has been advancing.

On the other hand, support for the peace process is still a polarizing subject and its support is related to individuals’ deeply held values. 

Former FARC combatants rally in Bogotá last year to demand security guarantees and compliance with the peace agreement signed with the government.
Former FARC combatants rally in Bogotá last year to demand security guarantees and compliance with the signed peace agreement. (Image: Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters & Washington Post)

Their ongoing research also shows that widespread animosity toward the agreement has made it difficult for ex-combatants to reincorporate into society. For example, ex-combatants face employment discrimination and stigmatization.

Insecurity is also on the rise. New and existing armed groups are fighting for the control of some areas where the FARC used to operate. Which has led to an increased numbers of ex-combatants and social leaders deaths.

Finally, elections are coming in 2022 and while their research indicates that voters, in many cases, are willing to support candidates directly tied to wartime civilian victimization.

It is true that the increased violence and the negative attitudes for the process can have consequences on turnout and vote choice. Depending on who voters elect, Colombia’s fragile peace could become even more precarious.


Read an expanded analysis on Monkey Cage, Washington Post