For more than five decades Colombia has suffered a relentless and devastating war that has taken a greater toll than that of many major wars around the world. For the past four years the Colombian government and the left-wing guerrilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia–People’s Army (FARC-EP) have been engaged in peace talks with the aim of putting an end to the armed struggle. During the negotiation, the two parties have developed innovative strategies and techniques that are informing debates on security, human rights, peace making, peace building, and international law at the regional and global levels. The aim of this article is to describe and discuss three lessons from the Colombian peace process. These involve the strategic use of diplomacy, careful preparation and design of the negotiation context, and the inclusion of victims’ rights as a central issue of the talks.



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