Peacebuilding in the Time of Negotiations

By Peter Cousins

In August 2012, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos announced that his government had reached an agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to begin substantive negotiations to end the longstanding armed conflict between these two parties. Talks would proceed on the basis of a pre-arranged agenda covering six overarching points.[i] On learning of this agreement, a small group of Colombians and ‘friends of Colombia’ met in London with a view to showing support for the talks in whatever ways might seem appropriate, and keeping them in the public eye in the UK. This outfit became known as Rodeemos el Diálogo or ReD by its initials in Spanish.[ii] Since the start of 2014, an identifiable core group has established itself in Bogotá. ReD operates on the basis of two fundamental principles: that it seeks to support the principle of the negotiations without taking a position on specific agreements or other political developments in Colombia; and is a politically-neutral, non-partisan initiative.

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