The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) launched an insurgency against the Government of Colombia in 1964. The ensuing armed conflict raged for over five decades, with a host of guerrilla groups and paramilitary formations developing across the country. By the 1970s, the armed groups were employing the sale of narcotics to fund their activities.1 By the 1990s, most had transitioned to the political arena, but FARC remained in conflict with the government in Bogotá. On 26 August 2012, negotiations held in Cuba resulted in the creation of a framework for resolving the conflict, formalised in the General Agreement for the Termination of the Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Lasting Peace.2 Among its provisions, the General Agreement scheduled further talks, focusing on political participation (2013), illegal drugs (2014), and agrarian development (2014).3
Between 2012 and 2016, the peace process was hosted by the Government of Cuba, which served as a guarantor to the accords alongside the Norwegian government. In addition, the governments of Venezuela and Chile served as observers to the negotiations, while the Union of South American Nations, EU, UN, Vatican, and American and German governments appointed special envoys to the peace process. Significant progress was made in 2015, when the former belligerents agreed to establish the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, which provided a mechanism for the investigation and prosecution of crimes related to the conflict.4 In June 2016, the parties to the conflict agreed to a definitive ceasefire.5 In September, the former belligerents signed a peace treaty at a public ceremony in Cartagena which was attended by representatives from across the world, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.6 Just a week later, however, the Colombian people rejected the agreement in a referendum. Rather than return to conflict, a new deal was agreed on 24 November 2016 and ratified by the Colombian parliament on 30 November.7 For his efforts in bringing peace to the country, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016.8 The international effort to facilitate an end to the fighting helped to bring an end to one of the longest intrastate armed conflicts in the world.