The pursuit of ‘total peace’ for Colombia

Truth Commission takes a critical view

Colombia's Truth Commission, an independent body set up under the terms of the 2016 Farc agreement, presented some of its findings on 21 July 2022, covering the period between 1958 and 2016. In an 896-page report one of the notable points was the assessment of people killed in that period, which at 450,000 was almost double previous estimates. The report was highly critical of the security 'model' followed by the Colombian military during that long period, which it said treated much of the population as “internal enemies”. The US-backed ‘war on drugs’ was also severely criticised for disastrous social and environmental effects, and also for turning poor farmers into ‘enemies’. This, the report said, led to a “hardening of the conflict in which the civilian population has been the main victim of the violence”. The report also documented extrajudicial killings committed by the armed forces, many of them known as ‘false positives’ (the killing of innocent civilians who were passed off as left-wing guerrillas supposedly killed in action).

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