This U.S. envoy helped Colombia forge peace. His departure leaves a vacuum.

From the Washington PostLike most political appointees, Bernard Aronson, the U.S. special envoy for the Colombian peace process, was out of a job when the new administration took over this month.

Few American diplomats have been so central to the resolution of some of Latin America’s most intractable conflicts. Having helped negotiate the end of El Salvador’s civil war in 1992, Aronson, 70, was running a private investment firm when he was drafted back into service by the State Department in 2014. The Colombian government’s peace talks with FARC rebels were stalling, and President Juan Manuel Santos asked the United States for help.

It sent him “Bernie.”

The battle-hardened guerrilla commanders soon warmed to Aronson’s quiet pragmatism and disarming willingness to listen. Over two years and many trips to Havana, where the negotiations were held, Aronson helped troubleshoot the controversial accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, that is now in the early stages of implementation. …



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