The peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC, the country’s largest and oldest guerrilla group, was signed in November 2016. Implementation began shortly after: Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize; the FARC demobilized, beginning the transition back into civilian life; and in June, more than 7,000 of their weapons were turned over to the United Nations. It appeared that the Western Hemisphere’s longest armed conflict was over.
Yet real peace is far from a reality in Colombia. In fact, studies show that violence actually increases in the early stages following peace agreements. In Colombia, human right defenders and social leaders have become the main targets.