This is the comprehensive account of the long and difficult road traveled to end the fifty-year armed conflict with the FARC, the oldest guerrilla army in the world; a long war that left more than eight million victims. The obstacles to peace were both large and dangerous. All previous attempts to negotiate with the FARC had failed, creating an environment where differences were irreconcilable and political will was scarce. The Battle for Peace is the story not only of the six years of negotiation and the peace process that transformed a country, its secret contacts, its international implications, and difficulties and achievements but also of the two previous decades in which Colombia oscillated between warlike confrontation and negotiated solution.
In The Battle for Peace Juan Manuel Santos shares the lessons he learned about war and peace and how to build a successful negotiation process in the context of a nation which had all but resigned itself to war and the complexities of twenty-first-century international law and diplomacy. While Santos is clear that there is no handbook for making peace, he offers conflict-tested guidance on the critical parameters, conditions, and principles as well as rich detail on the innovations that made it possible for his nation to find common ground and a just solution.