Monday, 11 May 2015

Some Facts about the Post-Conflict Period

By Daniel Ospina (undergraduate Economics Student , level 6 English)

There have been more than fifty years of armed conflict in Colombia, which is why it is urgent to make projections about the country in its post-conflict period. Now, the intention of this document is to show some conclusions and deductions from diverse points of view that many theorists have been working on, and especially focusing on economic, political and social issues.

Its good to know that on a large scale there are 5 items that constitute the general agreement where the Colombian government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia -hereafter FARC -are trying to use as the basis for the construction of a stable and lasting peace. The items to negotiate are: rural development, political participation, demobilization, drug trafficking and victims.

Social scientists can evaluate the same problem from different points of view, thus giving a more comprehensive solution. About rural development, many economists are discussing if this is or not the fastest way to improve the standard of life of many Colombians. The other option that opponents have suggested is the urban education way, where everybody should have access to higher education, which would also improve average conditions. Even though rural development is the most equitable way to have an optimum standard of life reflected in consumption and growth, if more people work in local production of basic goods, the market share captured by domestic industry will be higher. Then, if there is any surplus production this could be exported and thus increase international reserves (foreign exchange) and GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

However, this is not the only item for which the dialogues have become more extensive. In terms of political participation restrictions may be higher, as many Colombians are unwilling or hate the possibility of granting political power to people who were the biggest actors in violence, in addition to arms and drug traffickers. The participation of the FARC in making decisions for the nation can be more than an act of political inclusion; its effects can be counterproductive to the extent that it can be perceived as an act of victory by an armed group outside the law whose Machiavellian scheme is based on the destruction of others to encourage their minority.

After all, this may hurt the fifth item of discussion, victims, because a demobilized group who becomes an authority means that hundreds of martyrs were an effective way to get some power in society. It will probably not happen, but the creation of a political party by the residue of this demobilization is more than a possibility.

Nevertheless, the monopoly of legalization for the marketing of hallucinatory substances should be transferred to the state. We have seen recently that countries like the US and EU members have shown that health, control and revenue for the treasury is the best alternative. By now this idea as well as the demobilization of all fronts is not unanimous in the FARC. Many subdivisions have become independent as groups outside the minority law, such as the birth of BACRIM (Bandas Criminales) dedicated to organized crime and drug marketing.

In conclusion, the Colombian government believes strongly in the early finalization of the dialogues in Havana, not as a radical solution to the conflict, but as the elimination of the group outside the country's largest law, besides being a reference and example to achieve a stable and lasting peace that will bring greater growth and hopefully economic, political and social development indices. Three quarters of the points in the negotiating agenda have now been agreed on. Also, President Santos recently announced the creation of the -Fondo Multidonante Paz y Posconflicto- founded by Sweden, the World Bank and the United Nations, whose first amount of money is 9,400 million pesos for reparations to victims. The country is waiting for future contributions to perform the birth of a new society. 

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