Colombian peace negotiators and their counterparts from the country’s largest guerrilla group are working against the clock, with less than two weeks remaining before the March 23 deadline for a peace deal set by President Juan Manuel Santos and leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). But while the calendar says peace is only days away, the reality on the ground suggests that reaching a permanent agreement could be more difficult now than it appeared only a few months ago.
Colombians, who will ultimately vote on whether or not to accept the final deal, are growing increasingly skeptical of what Santos is crafting at the talks in Havana.
There is little doubt that the president and FARC will ultimately deliver some type of document, such as a permanent cease-fire, to sign by the agreed date, if only to save face and reassure the population that the process is still on track. But it seems extremely unlikely that the March 23 date will bring the more conclusive deal that was originally intended.