Colombia's Armed Groups Give Peace Another Chance

Sep 11, 2017 | 11:27 GMT
A guerrilla in the National Liberation Army, Colombia's second-largest leftist militant group, keeps her rifle close during an interview with AFP.

The prospective demobilization of two more armed groups is welcome news for the Colombian government. The benefits of their surrender, however, wouldn't extend throughout Colombia.

(LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)

Yet another Colombian armed group may soon try to demobilize. On Sept. 3, the commander of the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, Dario Usuga, approached the government about a possible surrender. And his isn't the only organization trying to make peace with the government. On the heels of the landmark peace deal that President Juan Manuel Santos' administration struck with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the National Liberation Army, the country's second-largest leftist militant group, is hoping for a truce of its own. The group recently reached an agreement with the Santos government, now in the last year of its tenure, to implement a three-month bilateral cease-fire starting Oct. 1.The prospective surrenders would be welcome news for Bogota. Declaring peace with the groups' leaders and demobilizing their rank-and-file members, after all, would leave only breakaway factions for Colombian security forces to deal with. Still, the groups' demobilization carries its...

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