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From war to peace

A screening of the movie “To end a war” will explore the dynamics of peace negotiation after the longest conflict in the Latin American region, the Colombian civil war.


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The conflict in Colombia started in the mid-1960s, and has left as many as 220,000 dead, 25,000 disappeared and 5.7 million of displaced people since its beginning.

Lasting more than half a century, this war has been regarded as the longest armed conflict in Latin America. It has seen a confrontation between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) – today a political party-, fighting against the Colombian government.

And also, it has seen the horror of one of the main actors of the internal conflict:  the paramilitary groups, an extreme-right drug trafficking groups that have existed since the 1980s.  The paramilitaries are well known for their massacres and crimes against humanity

Even if this conflict has been labelled as a “civil war”, it is necessary to point out the impact generated by foreign intervention. Indeed, the Colombian Government was supported by the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom, while the FARC and ELN were backed by Venezuela together with  the Soviet Union and Cuba between 1964 and 1991.

Photo: Pixabay

The war in Colombia can be also considered as an anomaly, as it started during the Cold War era and only  saw the beginning of the peace agreements in 2012, breaking with common Cold War dynamics.

However, the peace negotiations that have taken place in La Havana represent a global opportunity in an era of “small wars” and “neoliberal peace” and are more than welcomed in the international arena.

However, even if the end of war in Colombia had been announced back in September 2016, seeing the transformation of the FARC into a political party, harmony is still a utopia in the country.

Indeed, former Colombian presidential candidate Rodrigo Lodoño, accused the Democratic Centre Party (far-right wing party) of sabotaging his electoral campaign in some regions.

Therefore, due to the complexity of the Colombian war and the importance of its peace agreement, the United Nations, LSE IDEAS and the Embassy of Colombia are presenting the movie “To end a war”. The documentary explores the transition from violence to peace, exploring both the strategic and spiritual sides of the coin, and analysing the meaning of peace for a nation that has experienced unending conflict for two generations.

The documentary will be screened for free on Tuesday, 26th of June, from 18:30 to 21:00, at the London School of Economics and Political Science, located in Houghton Street, WC2A 2AE, London.

Please follow this link to see the trailer. For further information, go to Facebook.

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