Transitory Zones expire as new stage in peace process begins

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Since the ratification of the peace agreement in December 2016 the FARC began to concentrate themselves in 26 zones across the country, the so called transitory zones. It is here where they have carried out the laying down of arms process and now with the more than 8,000 guns removed from the zones by the UN, the name and norms of the zones has changed.

The zones will continue to operate in terms of offering a concrete space for the ex-combatants of the FARC but they now adopt the name of Territorial Spaces for Training and Reincorporation.

Whilst this moment should be the official end to the laying down of arms and the programs for the reintegration of ex-FARC troops into society there have been a series of failures from the Colombian government in terms of their side of the agreement. The majority of the FARC prisoners have still not been released from prison; education programs have still not begun on a mass scale; not to mention that the infrastructure inside the transitory zones was never completely finished.

Nevertheless the FARC continue to comply with their commitments and towards the end of August a FARC conference will give official ratification to their conformation as a political party.

There are some important differences in norms that come with the changed status of the zones:

The armed forces can now freely enter the newly named Territorial Spaces. There will be heavy security presence from the armed forces consisting of between 200 and 240 members of the military and 170 police in every Space. There will also be “blue tents” set-up where members of the community can go to report security concerns. There will also be presence from the attorney general’s office and the UN.

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