UN official: Reintegrating Colombia rebels is not going well

From the Washington PostThe process of integrating leftist rebels into Colombian society after more than 50 years of war isn’t going well and could impact the peace agreement, the U.N.’s deputy human rights chief said Friday.

Andrew Gilmour, who visited Colombia last week, warned that if rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, don’t become part of Colombian society “there is a strong chance that they will go back to something worse.”

He told a small group of reporters that he has seen in Africa and elsewhere that when fighters aren’t reintegrated “the peace itself is not sustainable.”

Gilmour said it was too strong to say that the rebels would return to war, but he said “there’s a momentum that can be lost” and they could turn to drug trafficking and other criminal activity. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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