What Was The Failure Of The Peace Process

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Another particularly significant consequence of the failure of the peace process was the development of rapid changes among military relations. The guerrillas, as previously explained, slowly increased their membership, largely to the credit of the demilitarized zone. The paramilitaries developed during this time as well, actually gaining dominance in coca, oil, and agro-producing regions. This enabled the paramilitaries to gain an upper hand in drugs and arms smuggling. Similarly, government forces were increasing in size and strength, having benefitted from the United States’ newly implemented Plan Colombia.

The Colombian government’s strategy shifted, however, as the United States transitioned from the War on Drugs to the War on
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Thus amidst the crumbling peace talks from 1999-2002, the war in Colombia shifted from a counternarcotics-focused War on Drugs to a counterterrorism-focused War on Terror.

The Uribe Administration: 2002-2010

The failed peace talks officially concluded in 2002 following the FARC’s hijacking of a plane on which Senator Jorge Gechem Turbay was aboard. This proved to be the last straw for the government, so the military reoccupied the demilitarized zone—this signified the conclusion of the peace talks. The Pastrana administration’s vision of peace, though initially directed by the public, had grown to be vastly unpopular. Therefore the public elected President Uribe, who promised to conquer the guerrillas as well as drug traffickers via military intervention by 2005. Further than advocating military intervention, however, Uribe actively opposed peace talks with guerrillas, arguing, “it is impossible to negotiate with guerrilla groups that have not shown any signs of ending their ongoing war against the Colombian state.” This was a popular position, given the fact that the FARC, throughout the entirety of the failed peace process, had continued to wage war against the government, killing thousands of civilians in their wake. Uribe’s election was significant, as it would be Colombia’s only first-round electoral victory of a third-party candidate. Uribe’s victory was largely aided by Colombian’s loss of faith in the peace process. Shortly after his
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