SOMEONE WRITES TO THE COLONEL
Author José Roberto Padilla Rivera
Traducido al inglés por Ana Elena Acon
University for Peace, San Jose, Costa Rica. May 18th, 2021
Military detachment of the revolutionary forces on the Atlantic coast
Owner of the best rooster in the Department.
Somewhere on the Colombian Atlantic coast, on the Magdalena River.
I take the opportunity to comment on something that seems extraordinary to me, an action that lights a beacon of hope for the international community and serves as a model in the paradigm shift on the approach, resolution and transformation of conflicts.
Colonel, I do not understand the military world. Imagine that, in Costa Rica, the army was abolished on December 1, 1949, approximately, at the same time that you were included in the ranks to access your pension after 6 years of waiting. From my life experience, and it is that I am fortunate, as a “Tico” I do not see the need for armies in modern States.
The Peace Agreements in Central America ceased some of the most serious hostilities in the isthmus before I was born, so the idea of sustained peace without the need for a military body is part of my daily life.
Additionally, Mother Nature made a wall grow in the Darien plug, which perhaps helped to prevent our hunger from being stirred by the desire to eat, it has already been almost 200 years of solitude and independence for Latin America and in this time the nature of the challenges and opportunities that our peoples have experienced are not the same, but they are similar.
The Peace Agreements in Colombia are, in my opinion, a milestone for that type of form of military intervention and the actions of the United Nations Security Council and the Peace Missions; which also “puts an end to the last conflict in the Western Hemisphere and has generated all kinds of pain and suffering in Colombia”, in the words of former Colombian President and Nobel Peace winner Juan Manuel Santos before the same Council (Colombian Foreign Ministry, 2016).
Within the framework of a negotiation process carried out in Havana with government leaders representing the Colombian State and leaders of the FARC-EP, they agreed on the Peace of a war that for more than 54 years was fueled by pain, resentment, wounds and injustice.
For the first time in history, the parties to the conflict requested the accompaniment of a special Peace Mission to the UN Security Council, whose task is to verify compliance with the so-called sanctions of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, as envisaged. In the Final Agreement for the Termination of the Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Lasting Peace (The Final Agreement).
In front of the submission of both parties to a Special Jurisdiction for Peace, which responds to a responsible process for truth, justice, reparation and the promise of non-repetition. Colonel, this is also the first agreement that includes a special section on gender justice and that puts more than 8 million innocent victims of this conflict in the first place.
The Security Council, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter V of the United Nations Charter, has the primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security , and also in the same letter, the signatory States undertake to recognize the actions of the Security Council on its behalf when carrying out the functions that this responsability imposed on it.
All this is by virtue of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). That is a set of norms destined to limit, for the sake of humanity, the effects or armed conflicts. It protects people who are not participating or who have stopped participating in hostilities and imposes restrictions on the methods and means of warfare.
I imagine that you have already read or are about to read the packet of newspapers that comes to town with the mail and if not, let me tell you that the Suez Canal recently made the news again, and that the headlines in the world today are also headed by Colombia.
Among other things, due to the latest resolution issued by the Security Council in relation to the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia (The Verification Mission). On May 11th of the current year, Resolution 2574 (2021) was unanimously approved, which extends the mandate until October 31st, 2021.
Through this resolution, the Council entrusted the mission with the task of verifying that the sanctioned persons comply with the sanctions, and that the Colombian state authorities establish the necessary conditions for this. In addition, it expresses the will of the Council to work with the Government of Colombia on the new extension based on the agreement between parties.
Colonel, the context and the way in which this Peace mission is deployed, as well as the aims and the purposes of the Resolution that gives rise to it, is unlike any other that has been previously implemented and I insist on suggesting a new practical approach around the Responsibility to Protect. The Peace Agreements in Colombia are a response to waiting for so many years and for so many common sufferings.
It is possible that not too far in the future, all the wounds have healed. Perhaps, and I say it with hope, the example of Colombia, in addition to being a new source in international doctrine, will constitute the way forward for the other Latin Nations and the International Community still in conflict. Colonell, keep busy waiting for mail on Fridays, even if it rains. Remember that resignation is a bad symptom, and always keep in mind that life is the best thing ever invented (García G., 1986).
List of References
Cancillería Colombia. [Cancillería Colombia] (21 de setiembre de 2016). Título del video [Video]. Youtube. Entrega del Acuerdo de Paz al Consejo de Seguridad y al Secretario General de Naciones Unidas
CICR. (2021). Guerra y derecho. 19 de mayo de 2021, de Comité Internacional de la Cruz Roja Sitio web: https://www.icrc.org/es/guerra-y-derecho
Figueres J. (1944). El espíritu del 48. 18 de mayo de 2021, de El espíritu del 48 Sitio web: https://elespiritudel48.org/ideario/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CEl%20campesino%20costarricense%20no%20se,%2C%20la%20desembarreala%20y%20sigue.%E2%80%9D&text=%E2%80%9CCuando%20las%20cosas%20van%20mal,hay%20que%20emprender%20nuevas%20luchas.%E2%80%9D
García Márquez, G. (1986). El coronel no tiene quien le escriba. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe.
ONU. (2021). Carta de las Naciones Unidas, Capítulo V: El Consejo de Seguridad. 18 de mayo de 2021, de Organización de Naciones Unidas Sitio web: https://www.un.org/es/about-us/un-charter/chapter-5
Resolución 2574 (2021) Ampliación mandato Misión de Verificación de la ONU en Colombia aprobada por el Consejo de Seguridad. Consultada el 11 de mayo de 2021
Sainz Borgo, Juan Carlos. Responsabilidad para Proteger: ¿La perspectiva de Brasil? Revista Pensamiento Propio. Publicación trilingüe de Ciencias Sociales de América Latina y el Caribe. No. 35. Año 15. Enero-junio 2012. Ediciones CRIES. Buenos Aires – Argentina. Disponible: https://www.academia.edu/5289300/Instituciones_regionales_y_la_R2P_El_eje_presidencialista
Šimonović I. (2021). La responsabilidad de proteger. 18 de mayo de 2021, de Organización de Naciones Unidas Sitio web: https://www.un.org/es/chronicle/article/la-responsabilidad-de-proteger#:~:text=La%20responsabilidad%20de%20proteger%20se,la%20responsabilidad%20de%20la%20comunidad
José Roberto Padilla Rivera, is from Costa Rica, son of a coffee-agriculture family in the Los Santo area of the Country. Convinced of the importance of education to transform the world and change some paradigms. Roberto is a professional in Business Sciences, Criminal Investigation, International Business, Information Technology and Electronics. He is currently completing the MA in Conflict Resolution Peace and Development at the Peace University.
Parallel to his university background, José Roberto has worked in different types of public and private organizations. He has participated in drafting Public Policies and Bills of Law in Costa Rica. He is currently a Member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Democratic Studies for Latin America and of the Board of Directors of the University College of Cartago. From where he has tried to analyze the dimensions of the new social contract and how education becomes the bridge for structural factors transformation, that limit economic development, affect Security and ultimately undermine Peace in the region.