<Written by Jorge Enrique Moncaleano Ospina>
Jorge is a lawyer specializing in criminal law, and holds a master degree from the University of Oslo.
From last Sunday evening, here in Colombia we all have been in shock and anxious when 50.21% of voters rejected the peace accord. Yesterday we woke up very surprised with the announcement that President Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Colombian state has many many debts, nationally and internationally, legally and politically, but most of all moral debts mainly with peasants and victims. Decades of war propaganda, painful events, and scenarios of winners and losers, all or nothing, have made a huge effect in society. We have supported many years of war, but we have also supported all kind of efforts for peace.
There are uncountable reasons, and uncountable paths leading to war, it is so so messy that it took us about 52 years to find the way out. All Colombians want peace, and we all have something to contribute. However, just some have either the capacity or the chance to make it possible.
Santos used once its power as defense ministry to hit Farc militarily as hard as he could, and was very successful. That policy made him President. Despite the huge electoral capital he could have built on war, decided to take the hardest path. He could have kept leading war on its own, having 52 years of one-side-told history backing him. However, decided to do what many were dreaming for years, to lead a shift in history, and show people how a country used to lead wars, could also be prepared to lead peace.
The Habana accords shout to the world in war that other means are possible, that alternatives are conceivable, that no matter how long you have been fighting, how much suffering has been caused, how many times a society has been torn apart, and how many times renovated hate again and again and again, there is always a chance to seat and peacefully talk while meeting those terrible war debts. Definitely you need extra help to stop being blinded.
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize is may be controversial, but today for Colombiansmay be seen as an opportunity to push all parties to continue working towards peace. People are working very hard for peace in Philippines, Syria, Ukraine and many more places, their efforts need to be supported, promoted, and encouraged. Perhaps the millions forcibly displaced and hundreds of thousands of enforced disappeared during the Colombian conflict would have deserved more, possibly the victims have already given a lot. Territories most affected by war gave a strong yes to the peace accords, for instance, reaching 95,78% of votes in Bojayá, were one of the most egregious acts happened.
All parties have done everything within their means to attain a feasible agreement, however, a possible collapse of the peace process in Colombia, after last plebiscite elections, wouldn´t have caused any inspirational effect.
There are things that a peace prize, and the international community support, could push, in this context, at this time, in this conditions. Yesterday the parties agreed to keep cease fire (having said previously that it was to be finished), return of recruited minors, concerted and peaceful substitution of illicit crops (fuel of war), searching for the disappeared and demining.
It can be debatable whether the prize was the reason, part of the reason, or nothing. However, today parties in the negotiation table have a reinforced commitment to peace. Help from a friend was maybe what we needed to keep walking on this very hard path to achieve peace, and face what could have mean peace being defeated on popular elections.
Few days after elections ashes are still hot. Many things need to be thought in cold, or better in peace. The Nobel Peace Prize is an excellent brain engine-start to see solutions and potentials leaving aside pessimism. Next December President Santos will have to bring along Colombia´s hope to receive the Prize, we all will make sure that peace will prevail.