Juan Manuel Santos has been re-elected as Colombia’s President, after proposing peaceful means of resolving the country’s armed guerrilla groups issue.

BOGOTÁ  After the fierce dispute in the presidential elections, President Juan Manuel Santos was sworn in last week for his second term as Colombian President. The inauguration ceremony was the perfect moment for the President to reiterate that the peace process with the armed guerrilla groups (FARC and ELN) is the main goal of his second term as Colombian President.

“Colombia starts today a path of hope, a path to peace and social prosperity, a path that highlights us among the nations of the world,” Santos said in his inauguration speech. In fact, this was the main focus of the political campaign for the presidency, and the people chose the negotiated route as the better way to reach peace with the guerrilla groups. The President said, “Acts of peace! That is what the Colombian people ask for today!”

Furthermore, Santos highlighted some issues that are important to understand how the government will act to reach peace. “We signed the General Agreement for Termination of Conflict, which established the structure and agenda of the process, and we have not deviated a single minute of that roadmap…Just a couple of days ago, it was agreed that in two weeks the subcommittee that will address the issues cease-fire and hostilities (bilateral and definitive), and abdication of weapons that are part of the last substantive item, will be installed,” said the President.

He added: “The crucial step is to end the conflict to ensure that there are no more victims and their rights can be met in the best way. We have to show real willingness to tell the truth: to clarify what happened and why, participate in repair processes, and find an acceptable justice formula for the victims and for the Colombian people.”

In conclusion, it is great that Colombia is seeking the path of peace between the guerrillas groups and the government, a bloody conflict that has caused more than 200,000 deaths in five decades. In fact, the government must be prepared to cede to achieve peace, since the chosen solution to the conflict (negotiating with the guerrilla groups) demands that attitude. Now we are left waiting to see if the re-elected President will have the necessary political scope for such a move, since he already has the support of the Colombian people.

Caio Prado, Correspondent (Politics)

Image Courtesy: Ministerio TIC Colombia (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ministerio_tic/6917085641), Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Flickr