Peace Crisis in Colombia
A full explainer of "Total Peace" as Petro faces setbacks from two armed groups and violence continues
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Petro took office in August 2022 after a tumultuous election promising to finally bring peace to a country that has experienced nearly a century of internal conflict. More than a year later, however, he has failed to show much real progress in areas controlled by criminal armed groups, and violence in rural areas continues to rise.
He now finds himself in a moment of crisis for his “Total Peace” plans, with serious setbacks and growing discontent among the public over a lack of progress on the ground in conflict zones.
A 2022 New Year's Eve announcement by Petro announcing ceasefires with the country’s five largest criminal armed groups quickly proved to be untrue. And though there has been political progress in talks with two of Colombia’s largest remaining rebel groups, the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the ex-FARC dissident group Estado Mayor Central (EMC), both ongoing negotiations have experienced a moment of crisis in recent weeks.
In the case of the ELN, the high-profile kidnapping of the father of iconic footballer Luís Díaz has drawn public attention to ongoing criminal actions committed by the rebel group despite a supposed ceasefire with the government.