Colombian Guerrillas and Government Reach Agreement in Peace Negotiations

Colombia's President and its largest Marxist rebel group announce breakthrough, paving way for end to nearly six decades of conflict claiming over 200,000 lives

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The leader of Colombia's largest Marxist rebel group, FARC, joined Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Havana on Wednesday to announce a breakthrough in peace talks, which have been taking place in the Cuban capital since November 2012. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Mr. Santos, in a brief address after meeting with the man he had battled for years, Rodrigo Londoño of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said the two sides had finally agreed on a framework for investigating rights abuses, punishing guerrillas for their involvement in those crimes and offering compensation to victims. With an accord on that point, a major obstacle for months, the path has been cleared for the signing of a peace pact six months from now and, two months after that, the start of disarmament, the two sides agreed.

The announcement by the two men marks a major step toward ending the hemisphere's last guerrilla conflict, which has claimed some 220,000 lives and led many rural Colombians to uproot and move to urban slums.

The conflict between the government and the rebels has raged on for nearly six decades without abating, but even so, some human rights groups have criticized the current peace talks for being too lenient on FARC. Human Rights Watch notes the heinous nature of the group's crimes, emphasizing that the rebels have displaced 150,000 rural Colombians per year and that over 80% of those killed in the guerrilla warfare since 1958 have been civilians.

Still, over the course of the three-year negotiation, the talks have come to focus on reparations for victims rather than punishment for offenders. From the WSJ:

Crimes will be investigated by a specially designated Tribunal for Peace, made up of Colombian and some international judges. The tribunal will collect testimony and evidence, ensure victims are compensated and that sanctions are delivered to those who committed serious crimes, such as mass killings.

Negotiators are quick to point out that large hurdles still remain to a final agreement, and if it is reached, it still will have to be approved by Colombians via a referendum or another political mechanism before it can take effect.

In the meantime, for more on creating peace in Colombia and elsewhere through dialogue and free markets rather than conflict, watch my recent Reason TV story about ex-special ops commandos who went from conducting night raids to selling flip flops: These Vets Think There Is a Better Path to Peace: Selling Flip Flops.

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  1. I wonder how this relates to the US war on cocaine. Will peace enable the return of farmers who raise coca as a cash crop? Will peace reduce the Colombian armed forces and decrease the war on cocaine, or will US bribes in the form of armed assets and assistance maintain the war on cocaine?

    1. You have to draw the line somewhere. Not that I’m tooting my own horn, but this looks like an agreement that will shortly crack. And I’m going to continue to rail about this, at least until things blow over.

      1. Ya, I would expect the more enterprising rebels to go hide out in the jungle before they get thrown under the bus

      2. You have got to be FARC-ing kidding me!

      3. Obviously Mr Lizard deserves more punishment.

        Encore! Encore!

        1. Ugh. ^studious

          *irritated frown*

      4. Your puns blow, dude.

        1. So does your mom.

    2. “the US war on cocaine”

      I would characterize it more as a “US War Against People” which has had zero actual impact on the trade or consumption of cocaine, but that’s just me.

  2. OT: Carly is big buds with race-baiter Jesse Jackson:

    http://spectator.org/blog/2163…..se-jackson

    JEB!’s ratfucker will make short work of her if needed.

    1. You are absolutely correct, and you have convinced us all.

  3. OT: My lefty gf wants me to read “A Peoples History of the United States”. Given that I am skeptical of anything prefaced with “A/The Peoples”, I took a cursory look at an overview of the author (Howard Zinn). I noticed the author is described as “something of a socialist” and a “social activist”. In the interest of intellectual honesty I would like to give the book a chance. But I’d rather not suffer through any disingenuous rantings of a marxist. Is it worth the read?

    1. No.

      And the sex better be good.

      1. HM is correct on both.

        Zinn is known for not having any citations for his claims. Some folks have looked into his writing and noted that he misrepresents, lies, and distorts. Here’s a critique of Zinn, there are others out there.

        1. Did Zinn really claim that objectivity is undesirable? That alone should discredit any of his work as being “scholarly”.

          1. As far as I can tell, yes. I’ve seen some on the Left try to claim this is Zinn’s attempt to say that objectivity is impossible because we are always subject to our biases, consciously or unconsciously. The problem with that claim is the rest of the quote where Zinn talks about (I’m paraphrasing here) history needing to serve society means that objectivity is undesirable because objectivity might not serve society’s “needs”.

    2. I have not read it, but I do know you should not waste your time reading Howard Zinn. I am sure some of the more intelligent commenters will explain why.

      1. I have made the attempt and did not get past page 10 before I wanted to rip my eyes out. The only thing that stopped me ripping my eyes out was the fact that I was in a public library and I might soil the collective property of the people.

        1. That never stopped you before….

          1. Testament to how profoundly I was affected. Reparations are in order.

    3. I tried reading it, figuring that the left agenda could be filtered out, and heaven knows the standard statist histories are such pablum. Sure enough, yes, there is some interesting stuff in there which I verified with Google, more or less. But the socialist attitude infuses everything so unrelentingly pervasively that it’s really slow, hard to process more than a page or two before wanting to chuck the damned thing out the window, and there are so many implausible claims that trying to find the truth with Google becomes a chore of its own. It’s like socialist realism art slathered on by Tammy Faye Baker.

      What do you know of the Haymarket Massacre? The socialist dogma for 150 years was proven wrong by a recent book, written by a professor of labor history, but probably too recent to be included by the Zinns. I imagine the Zinns doubled down on every socialist claim, and while it would be a useful counter to conservative statist claims, it’s more like trying to save a warship with counterflooding; you may correct the list and prevent capsizing, but it’s only a temporary fix and you really need to plug the holes and drain the flood of nonsense from both sides.

      I’d say see if you can stomach a page or two at random with google (if possible) or at the library.

      1. Huh, that’s actually something I only cursorily know about so I looked up what you were talking about:

        … as Howard Zinn suggests in A People’s History of the United States, perhaps “an agent of the police, an agent provocateur.”

        Apparently Zinn pulls this claim directly out of his ass with zero evidence, and nobody had bothered to think to look up the trial transcript but Messer-Kruse, because, hey, why challenge a good narrative?

        Also, special guest appearance by everyone’s favorite associate of the current Commander-in-Chief, Bill Ayers:

        In 1969, Bill Ayers and an accomplice from the Weather Underground engaged in their own Haymarket terror, bombing a statue that honored the fallen policemen of 1886. “This is too good ? it’s us against the pigs, a medieval contest of good and evil,” wrote Ayers of the affair in his memoir, Fugitive Days.

        Also this made me laugh in light of so many recent Wiki bias controversies (the “cultural Marxism” to “Frankfurt school conspiracy theory” one coming immediately to mind) by people with a tremendous amount of free time to burn and political axes to grind:

        Messer-Kruse even battled Wikipedia editors when he tried to update the entry for Haymarket.

        1. Haymarket is an example I’ve been debating to include in a presentation at PhreakNic this November on making your own documentary.

          Key to the whole Haymarket riot is the notion that, until recently, writers could write whatever they wanted to and it was difficult to fact check them. Case in point: Haymarket. The writings since about the 1930s have claimed some sort of railroading of the defendants, but the trial transcripts were not available until recently.

          A couple of years ago Messer-Kruse attempted to correct Wikipedia and found himself in an edit war, and losing, because there were so many newspaper and “scholarly” articles that contradicted his findings. Interesting because much, if not all of that, was straight out the ass Zinnesque garbage.

          On Ayers, if Zinn is quoting “Fugitive Days” correctly, that may be the first thing in “Fugitive Days” that is accurate. I tried reading that pile of crap too and did not get very far. When passages in it came up in web searches about other bombings, I paused to try to verify what Ayers wrote. NOTHING was correct in the instances I looked into.

          See what Ayers has to say about Marion Delgado. He and his fellow Weathermen made up a whole legend for an individual who appeared in LIFE magazine in 1947 after he accidentally wrecked a train.

          See what Ayers says about the DuPont Blaster’s Handbook.

          I don’t recall the others right now, but he should be presumed false until proven true, no matter when he said or wrote anything.

          1. On Ayers, if Zinn is quoting “Fugitive Days” correctly, that may be the first thing in “Fugitive Days” that is accurate. I tried reading that pile of crap too and did not get very far. When passages in it came up in web searches about other bombings, I paused to try to verify what Ayers wrote. NOTHING was correct in the instances I looked into.

            All my quotes there are from the NR article linked at the top of my post, and the bit about Ayers/Fugitive Days is not from Zinn–I’ve only read excerpts of that myself, so I have no idea if Zinn is even mentioned therein. It was brought up by the NR writer in a section explaining the longterm cultural impact of Haymarket.

            I’m not familiar with Ayers on Marion Delgado or the DuPont Blaster’s Handbook, and would have to look that up, but given what I know of Ayers’ character, I think I can probably make an educated guess.

            1. Okay, then if the NR account of Ayer’s novel is correct, that might be the only accurate thing in it. BTW, novel is appropriate since he warns the reader twice before the body begins that he can’t remember and he is making stuff up.

        2. The transcript was not digitized until very recently, and was nothing but musty old boxes. Even the people connected to the trial had somewhat recanted, so the next 100+ years had a bogus history and can at least explain some of why no one looked up the transcript.

          1. Yet it does not explain at all why people refuse to go to the available transcript now, rather than pushing the same old manufactured bullshit.

            1. This is the first I’ve really ever read about the event. It seems that the transcript does not support the established narrative, which should answer the question.

        3. Also … the wikipedia controversy arose because their policy is so fixated on sources instead of truth; he originally tried to edit the article without any sources, just his own original research, which understandably is a big no-no if you want to avoid corrupted articles all over the place. But even when he tried to source his own published book, it rang a lot of alarm bells, again understandable in these days when anyone can self-publish pretty cheaply. And remember, his book ran counter to 100+ years of established narrative.

        4. earlier researchers had not consulted this transcript. Instead, they had relied on an abstract of the trial prepared by defense lawyers, drawing their conclusions from a flamboyantly prejudiced account of the bombing and its aftermath.

          HOW THE FUCK DOES THIS HAPPEN AND STAND FOR OVER A HUNDRED YEARS????

          1. Because we are not supposed to question our betters, especially betters with tenure.

      2. I’d say see if you can stomach a page or two at random with google (if possible) or at the library.

        I suppose I’ll give the ole college try while keeping google handy. I could venture to at least learn about a socialists perspective of history. I do want to be intellectually honest, but that may be easier when discussing and understanding various pov’s on a philosophical level. I suspect the water gets pretty murky when it comes to distorting (or lying about) history to support a narrative/agenda.

      3. You mean Paul Avrich’s book?

    4. I’d say it’s 85% bullshit, 15% insightful.

      Like many left-wingers, Zinn is in the business of ascribing the most nefarious motives possible to those in power and those he does not like.

      It’s explicitly intended as a counter-narrative to standard American history, which does not make for sound history because he has an obvious agenda.

      1. Did you make it through the book? Is there anything in particular I should be aware of or look out for?

    5. WILL
      The United States of America, A Complete History,
      Volume I. Jesus…You wanna read a real History book,
      read Howard Zinn’s People of the United States, that
      book will fuckin’ knock you on your ass.

      SEAN
      Better than Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent? You
      think that’s a good book?

      WILL
      You fuckin’ people baffle me. Spend all your money on
      these fuckin’ fancy books you surround yourselves with
      ’em and they’re the wrong fucking books.

      MATT DAMON!!!!

      1. Was going to throw out this reference myself but I got beaten to the MATT DAMON punch, I see.

        Ugh. Fucking Chomsky.

    6. Imagine book-length Sheldon Richman.

    7. Get out while you still can. Seriously. I wasted several years of my life with a leftist girlfriend and I regret every minute of it. I could have spent that time with a more like-minded woman. I’m just glad I didn’t knock the bitch up or my life would have been over.

    8. This is all interesting input. The sad part is that I already told her I would read it (she was naked at the time, so I was distracted) and I am not sure how to get out of it now. I think I’ll make a deal with her and make her read “How Capitalism Saved America”, or something.

      1. And “The Law”, for that matter.

      2. Socialism by Mises.

      3. You should make her read something in return. I would suggest A Renegade History of the United States, just to see if she can read the first chapter.

        1. Ha! I was just going to suggest that one. In no way should you be subjected to reading Zinn without her reading something counter. If she is a lefty she in all likelihood is not exposed to nearly enough Liberty oriented material. I would recommend “The Anti Capitalist Mentality” by Mises. It has the added benefit of being a free download. I would also highly recommend “Basic Economics” by Thomas Sowell.

      4. Radicals for Capitalism is a good one.

      5. if you’re going to have your girlfriend read something may i suggest

        This
        or
        This

        1. “”The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches:””

          Maestro!

      6. ” make her read “How Capitalism Saved America”, or something”

        I have found Eric Hoffer’s “True Believer” to be effective at getting into the heads of instinctual Lefties and undermining some of their core assumptions about the beneficence of Government and the motivations of most social-justice “do-gooders”

        Its more insidious than simply trying to feed them “Road to Serfdom”, though that might make a good follow-up read. It has a way of “loosening up” a lot of the presumptions that lefties make before they even begin to look at political theory.

        1. Eric Hoffer’s “True Believer” is a good book.

      7. Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson”?

      8. There’s a wealth of literature that I could recommend but Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do by drug war martyr Peter McWilliams is something I’ve frequently handed out in the interests of converting people. It can also be found entirely online for free here, albeit in 90s web formatting.

        Mises is great and all and my shelf is full of him, and there’s Rand, but when it comes to something that I think people will actually read, I really like this book. It’s not dry, has amusing quotations on every page, and doesn’t come off as preachy.

        1. That is the very book that set me on my way. Highly recommended.

          1. Yes, “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do” is awesome. It’s been a long time since I read it. RIP Peter McWilliams.

      9. What’s it going to be boy. Yes or No?

            1. Two out of three ain’t bad.

      10. According to the leftoids, Mein Kempf is supposed to be some sort of blueprint for Capitalism. I could not find anything resembling a free-market notion in there, but maybe your girlfriend will.

        BTW, if she resembles Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS then does it really matter what she reads?

    9. Contraire HM and others,

      It *is* worth a read. Because its actually a pretty fundamental book in the whole Lefty Mythos of the last 30-40 years.

      I read it my sophomore year of high school, alongside some history text book edited by Richard Hofstadter. We would compare/contrast the way each chose to describe different episodes, ranging from Columbus’ ‘discovery’… to the conquest of the American West… to Gunboat Diplomacy in Central America…

      the point of the exercise was to show the degree of presumptive bias in the way America tries to view its own history. Both were to be shown to be ‘extremes’. they were supposed to be windows into different frames of mind. I found it entertaining and informative. And for the last few decades I could recite sections of Zinn back at any Prog who tried to “educate” me on the Real story of American exploitation and oppression.

      Which is probably the greatest danger if you do agree to read the book = your GF will expect it to “inform” you, and may be horribly disappointed when it simply confirms your perception of lefty-history as a juvenile, oversimplified story of White, Capitalist exploitation of the underclasses. Your lack of sympathy with the Sob-Story may undermine your relationship. Or Not. Who knows? Have a go.

      1. I haven’t read it but I agree with your premise. Reading people like Chompskt and Goodman was a great exercise in learning how the left argues and the roots of a lot of their misconceptions and mischaracterizations. You may not care, but it does help give context to broader debates.

        1. That being said there is a definate naked girlfriend clause that that voids commitments made under those circumstances.

    10. I would say read it enough to be able to summarize the main points – hopefully your lady friend will be content with that.

      Sometimes I get off on reading stuff I vehemently disagree with. Good intellectual exercise.

      1. He could probably save time by perusing Salon for a couple of hours instead.

      2. Good intellectual exercise.

        I agree and I’m going to read it. I just made the deal with her that she must read something of my choosing, but haven’t decided what. I see many things above that I am going to add to my own reading list. I just need to think of something I have actually read to give her.

        1. Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty?

          Or if we’re doing American history, Rothbard’s Conceived in Liberty?

    11. Never read it, but:

      I took a room in a friend’s house a few years ago. On the first night he proceeded to put The Daily Show on TV. I proceeded to go to my room. “I find the show too one sided,” I politely said. “Oh so whaddya gonna do, go watch Fox News?,” he snorted.

      The next day I was looking at his books and he says that I have to read this book. And he pulls out A Peoples History of the United States.

      So these are the type of people who read this book. Don’t waste your time with the book or the girl; life is too short.

    12. Never read it, but:

      I took a room in a friend’s house a few years ago. On the first night he proceeded to put The Daily Show on TV. I proceeded to go to my room. “I find the show too one sided,” I politely said. “Oh so whaddya gonna do, go watch Fox News?,” he snorted.

      The next day I was looking at his books and he says that I have to read this book. And he pulls out A Peoples History of the United States.

      So these are the type of people who read this book. Don’t waste your time with the book or the girl; life is too short.

    13. I mean…it’ll be educational. If you’ve never been exposed to an insane communist critique of the United States, it’s worth reading. As long as you extract sexual concessions for doing so, of course. And whatever you do, don’t marry her.

      1. If you’ve never been exposed to an insane communist critique of the United States

        How is that possible?

  4. Human Rights Watch notes the heinous nature of the group’s crimes, emphasizing that the rebels have displaced 150,000 rural Colombians per year and that over 80% of those killed in the guerrilla warfare since 1958 have been civilians.

    Hey, at least FARC has universal suffrage!

    /american socialist

  5. Well,ending the drug war in south america would defund these criminals gangs.Sure ,some, ( many ) would turn to crimes of harm.Those are much less profitable and risky and would not have the support of many of the loals as growing coco and pot do.

    1. Stalin did not need a drug war to fund Lenin.

  6. Communists committing heinous crimes? Inconceivable!

    1. Is it a crime if it is for the people?

      1. You know who else did it for the people?…

          1. A friend of mine went to HS weith her. He ended upnin a long business conversation with her husband at a reunion.

          2. Maybe it is the camera, but she is a bit beefy for my taste. Must be my unconscious cultural bias or something.

        1. I don’t know but I vote these guys

          1. That’s some good jams

        2. Morgan and Morgan ?

  7. The only deal you get when dealing with Communists is Communism.

  8. the talks have come to focus on reparations for victims rather than punishment for offenders

    Where exactly are these ‘reparations’ coming from? From FARC? I’m guessing everybody is going to have to pony up – and that includes the victims themselves. Kinda like when the NYPD beats the shit out of some innocent taxpayer and the taxpayers have to cough up the settlement money.

  9. “the two sides had finally agreed on a framework for investigating rights abuses, punishing guerrillas for their involvement in those crimes and offering compensation to victims.”

    Well, perhaps finding a few scapegoats is a good price to pay for peace.

  10. In other news…

    Europe realizes past decade+ of Foreign Policy approach has been a gigantic failure

    “In contrast to the success of its eastward enlargement drive that transformed former communist countries into thriving market democracies, the European Neighbourhood Policy launched in 2003 has been a spectacular flop.

    It offered money, technical assistance and market access, but not membership, to 16 countries to the east and south in return for adopting EU democratic, administrative and economic norms.

    EU officials now acknowledge that the framework…was flawed from the outset due to a mixture of arrogance and naivety

    The EU approach offered too little reward tied to too many conditions, with intrusive monitoring that …rulers… instinctively resisted as a threat to their interests.

    It set out a one-size-fits-all relationship for states… most of which are ill-equipped to apply swathes of EU market, environmental or health and safety legislation.

    And it assumed that groups of countries in North Africa or the south Caucasus would cooperate and trade with each other, when in reality they had little or no desire to work together.

    EU officials talk of the need for a new realism, putting the pursuit of common interests with partners ahead of lecturing them on human rights and democracy. “

    1. “It set out a one-size-fits-all relationship for states with widely diverse levels of economic development and governance, most of which are ill-equipped to apply swathes of EU market, environmental or health and safety legislation.”

      Huh, one could say the same about many countries within the EU.

  11. More Foreign Affairs notables

    Was Xi’s visit coordinated to be Overshadowed by Pope?

    Because the US wants to export TV coverage of Obama kissing the Chinese leader’s ass and throwing him lavish events… but domestically, would prefer no one paid any attention to it.

    “Xi’s U.S. trip has – at least in terms of U.S. media coverage – been firmly overshadowed by the wildly popular pontiff, raising questions over its timing and contrasting sharply with the wall-to-wall coverage of Xi by Chinese media.

    China’s tightly controlled state media has focused heavily on the pomp, ceremony and shows of respect Xi has been treated to in Seattle and then Washington.

    The adoring domestic coverage is important for Xi, who is grappling with Chinese market instability and a flagging economy at a time when he is seeking to consolidate his grip on the leadership ahead of a crucial Communist Party congress in 2017.”

    The story notes that after an initial report on Friday re: Xi’s, US media coverage of the Pope has basically drowned out anything regarding US/China relations.

      1. What? Where? Why? How?

        1. I honestly hadn’t heard of him before this week. Does it even matter who’s managed to backstab their way to the top over there?

      2. Hu is on Second

        1. That’s what I’m asking!

      1. You know who else the Millennials really like

      2. I confess, i find the Californian Albino-Transexual-Clown strangely attractive.

        1. Well she’s into Dictators so she prolly follows orders well. And after, she’ll write you a poem.

  12. PERSONALITY CULT? THAT SEEMS SO UN-CHINESE. PEOPLE SUGGESTING SUCH THINGS PROBABLY NEED TO BE TAKEN IN FOR QUESTIONING AND RE-EDUCATION. CHINA IS HAPPY COUNTRY NOT LIKE GREEDY PINOY DOGS.

  13. I don’t understand what reason FARC has to negotiate this at all. What do they gain by submitting themselves to judgment of human rights abuses, when human rights abuses are what they’re all about? Also, what about their original demands? Weren’t they abusing people so they could get something? Well, are they getting any of it?

    1. If I had to guess, I’d say that the leaders are offering *other* people in their organization (maybe people they don’t like?) as scapegoats to be offered up to the new tribunals.

    2. Maybe Putin does not pay as well as Brezhnev did?

  14. Another worthless ‘peace agreement’ with terrorists and Reason immediately rushes to gush over it. Wear that dunce cap with pride Reason!

    The only thing that is going to bring peace to Columbia is the extermination of the FARC and ELN. the only thing that will bring that (and get rid of the criminals that will occupy the cocaine business space should FARC abandon it) is 1) legalizing cocaine and 2) crushing the bad guys with massive military force. Uribe come back.

    1. Legalizing cocaine pretty much takes care of it.

      1. There might be some leftovers that have to be crushed but yeah. That’s pretty much their lifeblood. I just want them all to die so that there’s fewer lefties on Earth.

      2. Unlikely that that one measure will take care of it at all.

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