Andrew Ely Morehouse: Why Colombia peace matters to you

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Published: 04-01-2024 5:44 PM

Modified: 04-02-2024 11:46 AM


According to the Washington Office on Latin America, in a world filled with war, violence and extreme human suffering, Colombia is a model for how protracted complex conflicts can be resolved through political negotiation.

The historic 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) remains the world’s most comprehensive peace accord. Colombian President Petro's administration has not only advanced this accord, but it has also sought to demobilize and dismantle the country’s remaining guerrilla and illegal armed groups. Those efforts have resulted in unprecedented bilateral cease-fires.

A stable and peaceful Colombia will address the regional issues that are of most importance to lawmakers and the citizens of the United States. The most pressing political topic is how best to address immigration. Sustainable integration of migrants from Venezuela in Colombia will lessen the incentive for them to take the perilous journey through the Darien Gap, Central America, and Mexico to reach the U.S.

Colombia and the U.S. are jointly working on advancing more sustainable and effective drug control policies to encourage Colombian farmers to switch from illicit to legal crops and to expand formalized land titles. Colombia is a leader and partner in efforts to address deforestation of the Amazon region and climate change — efforts inextricably linked to illicit crop proliferation.

As it has in a bipartisan fashion for decades, the U.S. Congress should support at least continued level, if not increased, funding to support peace and human rights in Colombia.

Andrew Ely Morehouse

Williamsburg

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