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AQ Feature

María Victoria Llorente: Five Challenges for the Next President of Colombia

Linking peace, security and development will be crucial to building on recent gains.
Photo courtesy of the author

For our latest print issue on Colombia, we asked experts, executives, politicians and everyday people about the biggest issue facing Colombia's next president. See all of their answers here| Leer en español

For Colombia to continue on the path to peace, it must be a priority for the next president to link security, peace and development. There are five major challenges to achieving this. The first has to do with stabilization and security. There needs to be a clear reintegration program for ex-combatants, individually and collectively. The state also needs better control of zones that were previously occupied by the FARC, where the current population is now under threat from various armed groups.

The other challenges have to do with local capacity-building to fully integrate historically isolated territories. There should be a crop substitution plan that replaces illicit crops with new crops, instead of just pulling out the old. The private sector should be encouraged to actively participate in peace-building, particularly by investing in productive activities that create jobs in rural areas.

And finally, the new president should promote a cultural shift across society to encourage forgiveness, reconciliation, and the integration of a country in which we all belong.

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Llorente is the executive director at Fundación Ideas para la Paz.

 

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Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.


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