Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Letter to President-elect Santos II

Yesterday, I posted a letter from international academics and members of civil society.  I thought that it was a non-starter and waste of time.  While I don't follow Colombian politics too closely, here's a little bit of what I would have included.  It's not a complete letter, but you get the idea.

Congratulations on your recent election. (How do you leave this out?)
We recognize the security gains that have been made against the FARC over the last several years of the Uribe administration.  However, as you are aware, these gains have come at a great cost to the Colombian people and its neighbors (civilian deaths, displaced people, corruption, threats to the rule of law, human rights violations committed by the military and security forces, violations of international law, political tension, etc.).
We ask you to prioritize the protection of Colombia's civilian population, to compensate those adversely effected by the violence, and to prosecute those responsible...
A succesful demobilization and disarmament of the AUC, prosecution of those responsible for the most egregious crimes, and a selective amnesty will go a long way towards convincing FARC leaders and militants to reintegrate into Colombian society.
We ask that you work more closely with your neighbors Ecuador and Venezuela to reduce the transnational threat that the FARC poses.  We understand that the transnational threat posed by the FARC complicates relations with your neighbors.  However, we ask you to do your part to prevent the FARC's activities from threatening regional stability...
We also ask that you do everything possible to bring about a negotiated settlement to the conflict that will bring lasting peace to the Colombian people and its neighbors...

The Colombian voters have placed their faith in you...
Obviously a lot more could be included, but I think this is a start.  What do you think?

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