The Colombian Peace Process: An Insight from Victoria Sandino
Victoria Sandino, from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), visited the NCHR to talk about the peace agreement, the gender perspective in the peace process and the challenges after Colombia’s Presidential election.
Victoria Sandino (in the middle) addresses the audience. (Photo: UiO)
Sandino, who was part of the FARC delegation to the peace talks in Havana, shared her insight on the current challenges that the peace agreement faces after the election of Iván Duque as the new President of the country. Duque has openly opposed the FARC peace process and announced his will to modify the peace agreement. However, Sandino offered a hopeful vision on this historical moment for Colombia.
“Colombia will never be the same”
During an interactive dialogue with the audience – integrated by Latin American organisations based in Norway, researchers and Colombian nationals among others – one of the many conclusions was that something has changed in Colombia. The tight results between the candidates in the last round of the elections shows a shift in the political paradigm in the country and an enlarged space for Colombian civil society mobilisation in politics.
Sandino played a key role in the Gender Commission during the peace talks and was instrumental in including a gender perspective in the peace process and its final agreement. She shared insights on the important role of women in the peace process, as well as challenges they face in the process of reincorporation to civilian life. On a positive note, she highlighted the strategy they developed on gender and reintegration and how women actively are shaping their future through political participation and economic and social projects.
The way to peace
Sandino stressed that the peace agreement is not the end, but the beginning of a long road towards peace. Sandino emphasised the importance of civil society mobilisation and called for a higher visibility of the peace process. She also highlighted the important role of the international community in the peace process and urged continuous support in its implementation. The country faces many challenges and the future of the peace agreement seems uncertain. However, Sandino – who will shortly become a member of the Senate – is optimistic and hopeful for the prospects of peace in her country.