Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Mac Margolis

For Colombia, Peace Will Be the Hardest Part

While populism shakes the West, a new pragmatism is taking root in Latin America, driving a watershed truce with rebels.
Eyeing a more peaceful Colombia.

Eyeing a more peaceful Colombia.

Photographer: PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images

You might have missed it in the cacophony over Brexit, but the longest shooting war in the western hemisphere ended June 23. On the same day Britons voted to ditch Europe, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by their acronym FARC, announced their historic agreement to lay down arms.

The deal, sealed in Havana, Cuba, is a Latin American watershed, coming after 52 years of bloody conflict that claimed 220,000 lives and uprooted 6.5 million -- and following countless false truces. It means the region's most conflicted nation finally has a chance not just at real peace, but also at restoring the civility and democratic normalcy that Colombians lost three generations ago.