On 24 December 2014, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos expressed his hope that the New Year could bring an end to his country’s 50-year-old internal conflict.
The negotiations between the central government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which have been taking place in Havana, Cuba, since August 2012 have now reached their final stages.
But while the government and the guerrillas’ delegations discuss the remaining items of the six-point agenda, the negotiations are faced with a dilemma that is far from being solved. How, and to what extent, should those culpable of the conflict’s atrocities pay for their crimes?
The answer has so far been cashed out in terms of transitional justice: the successful overcoming of a conflict may justify, and indeed require, more lenient punishments for those involved.