Political violence had been a very significant part of Colombian history since the 1940’s. This violence escaladed in the 1960’s due to the creation of many armed revolutionary groups called guerrillas. Over the years, this conflict has violated many human rights laws and has been the cause of a long lasting civil war between the Colombian government and the Guerrilla groups including mainly the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (National Liberation Army). Although Canada is not yet involved in the crisis, after the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement coming into effect in 2011, it is now crucial that Canada become involved in the conflict. The agreement has yielded many opportunities for the Canadian government who is now investing in resource development projects in Colombia; therefore it is advised that Canada take a stand to help defend their resources in the Latin American country.
Context and Important of the Problem:
Throughout the long-term conflict in Colombia, civilians have been the main victims of human rights abuses and the violation of international humanitarian law. Tens of thousands of civilians including women and children have been killed, thousands more abducted, and millions have been displaced and forced to flee from their homes. There is also known to be recruitment of child soldiers and sexual violence against young girls and women. These crimes, all committed by guerrilla revolutionary groups, are all fuelled by the illegal drug trade from which they profit between $500 and $600 million annually. The rebel groups are continuing to grow each year because of the child abductions and recruitment of child soldiers. These children are then forced to participate in these paramilitary operations ensuring everlasting growing numbers.
Critique of Policy Options:
* To deploy activists of international peace-seeking agencies such as the Canadian International Development Agency to defend men and women on dangerous frontlines.
If these agencies focus mainly on young children and youth, these agencies can help break the violent cycles of violence. By providing children with better education and by helping to protect them against the rebel groups, future generations will be driven towards licit economic activity rather than the illegal drug trade. This process can take time, but is very likely to eventually lead to a successful future and a peaceful Colombian nation. * To take military action and send Canadian troops into Colombia in an effort to end drug trafficking and put a stop to rebels who profit and protect the trade.
Canadian troops being deployed to help the already fighting Colombia and U.S. military could aid in the effort to destroy drug plantations and capture senior members of the guerrilla groups. This would surely slow, and could perhaps eventually end the production of illicit drugs in Colombia. There are also many negatives that come with this approach. It will only cause more conflict instead of a long awaited peace between the government and the rebels, only now; Canada will be a target as well. Also, a rise in conflict will result in more deaths of civilians, rebels, and also possibly Canadian troops.
The most logical