Former President Santos expresses support for Petro in his plan to consolidate peace in Colombia

Former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has expressed Friday his support for the peace agreements that the country’s president-elect, Gustavo Petro, intends to carry out with the country’s guerrillas and that he himself initiated in 2016 by signing an agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

“I support 100 percent the new president of Colombia in his determination to implement the peace process and have the Special Justice for Peace (JEP) as a model for the pacification of the country,” Santos has detailed in an interview with the Brazilian newspaper ‘Folha de Sao Paulo’.

In this sense, Santos has emphasized that the model of the JEP — an ‘ad hoc’ court that investigates and judges FARC crimes committed before December 1, 2016 — not only focuses on peace and violence, but also on the importance of carrying out an agrarian reform.

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“If someone opposes the agreements, I know that he (Petro) is going to be there at the front, the Agrarian Reform is one of the first issues of the peace agreement,” added the former Colombian president.

Likewise, the former president has stressed that if Petro’s government “manages to properly implement what was proposed in the peace agreements, then it will be a period that will generate transformation for the country”. “If they implement the agreement well, his government will generate a transformation and Petro knows it”, added Santos.

On the other hand, the former Colombian president has assured that “the traditional approach to the war on drugs only tends to strengthen drug trafficking”, and has urged the legalization of drugs to stop the mafias.

“I have no problem assuming that I applied recipes from the Global War on Drugs. I worked to destroy coca crops with chemicals that are destructive to nature and man, I made drug arrests, I extradited more than 1,400 drug traffickers. And yet, the drug trafficking business continued and continues to be even bigger than before”, Santos explained in the interview with the Brazilian newspaper.

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For this reason, the former Colombian president confessed that the lesson he took away from the fight against drugs during his years as president was that such solutions do not weaken the mafias and that the solution is the legalization of drugs.

“With Fernando Henrique Cardoso (former president of Brazil), we are now campaigning all over the world to abolish the prohibition of the commercialization of drugs, in a way that is based on evidence, on health, on Human Rights. I am convinced that this is the only way to take away the business and the power of the mafias”, Santos reiterated.

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