The International Community:
Its Role in Promoting Peace
In Latin America
Motivations, Purposes, Strategies, and Objectives:
International Facilitation, Mediation, and Peacemaking in
Major Actors and Strategies
Individual European Nations
The European Union
Providing Neutral Venues for
Providing Neutral Mediators for
Providing Third-Party Monitoring
Providing Technical Assistance
Ad Hoc Committees
Threats and Assurances
Withholding or Reducing Aid
The United Nations Lays the Ground Rules
An Agenda for Peace
for Its Preventive Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Peace-Keeping
Adopted by the Security Council
31 January 1992
Principles and Definitions
in its Peacemaking and Peace-Keeping
Respect for the State
Commitment to Human Rights
Respect relationship between Nationalism
Encourage balancing internal governance
within an Interdependent World
Violence prevention through diplomacy is
Resolve issues that have led to conflict
Preserve peace and help implement
Address deepest causes of conflict, i.e.,
economic despair, social injustice, and
Promote a common moral code among
Preventative Diplomacy: Prevent disputes
from arising; prevent existing disputes from
Peacemaking: Bring hostile parties to
agreement through peaceful means
Peace-Keeping: Deploy UN presence in the
Post-Conflict Peace-Building: Identify and
support structures that will consolidate
peace and advance confidence and wellbeing within a population.
Preventative Deployment: Respond with UN
presence when a country feels threatened
and requests aid.
Financing Peace: Establish and maintain a
fund to 1) to pay for peace-keeping
operations and conflict resolution; and 2) to
respond to humanitarian emergencies.
Lofty Idealism versus Messy Reality
International Efforts to Bring Peace
to Colombia, El Salvador, & Nicaragua
Colombian Soldier Standing Guard
• Colombian Police Spraying Coca Field
Colombian Conflict: The Fog of War
Unlike many Latin American conflicts, the one in Colombia often has overlapping and
multiple antagonists. As a result, International Efforts to bring peace to the country
have, at times, been contradictory, ineffectual, and at cross-purposes.
The Major Antagonists in the Conflict
The Government: President elected every four years. Strategies change depending on
the leader’s ideology. Official military follows orders of the President.
FARC and ELN: Revolutionary movements at war with government to effect social,
political, and economic change.
Paramilitary: Unauthorized private “self-defense” groups that commit murder and other
violence to “assist” government intervention.
“Narco-Terrorists”: Presumably large drug cartels that use violence and intimidation to
“Lost in a Tangle of Wars”
James Jones referring to U.S. Policy Towards Colombia
The European Union vs. the United States
Differences in Policy and Philosophy
Towards the Colombian Conflict
EU idea of security based on “human
security,” not simply absence of conflict
EU emphasizes economic development,
shared responsibility between producer and
consumer countries, view drug industry as
connected to international organized crime.
EU supports Colombian human rights
groups, human rights education,
strengthening judiciary, promote rule of law.
EU focus on history and root causes of
conflict: underdevelopment; reverse
damage to environment; promote “islands of
EU encourages negotiation with illegal
groups willing to negotiate.
Promotion of “neutral space” by Norway to
allow opposing groups to meet in nonthreatening environments.
US considers drug-traffickers and guerrillas
interchangeable and a common enemy
US appropriated $1.3 billion toward military
operations and coca eradication
US minimized role of demand and ignored
US communicates mixed-message
regarding ‘Plan Colombia’—ostensibly a
peace/human rights effort, but in fact
allowed for local government to ignore
human rights issues.
US State Department introduces concept of
“counter-terrorism” strategy for Latin
America after 9/11
“Patriot Plan” of 2003 launched a military
“anti-terrorism” offensive against FARC with
U.S. advisors assisting the Colombian army.
Colombian and International NGOs Efforts in the Colombian Conflict:
Colombia Steering Committee is a
consortium of 40 NGOs that include the
Latin America Working Group, Washington
Office on Latin America, Center for
International Policy, Catholic Relief
Services. Focus is on negotiation and
Colombian NGOs raise awareness of the
Colombia Conflict among members of the
U.S. Congress, resulting in letter sent to
Pres. Uribe by 23 Senators concerning
violence towards NGOs in Colombia
U.S. NGOs complement and work in
conjunction with Colombian counterparts
i.e., U.S. Catholic Relief Services works with
the Catholic National Secretariat (Colombia)
U.S. NGOs often have similar policies to the
EU stance on Colombia, providing the EU
policy with more legitimacy.
U.S. NGOs addressing the Colombia
Conflict include Think Tanks, Grassroots
Organizations, Religious Organizations
NGOs help create channels of
communication between Colombian civil
society and U.S. policymakers.
Inter-American Dialogue and Heritage
Foundation represent NGOs that seek a
Both NGO clusters support respect for
human rights and rule of law.
NGOs active in producing blueprints and
NGOs organize trips to D.C. for civilian-led
Colombian peace building initiatives.
Colombian NGOs develop alliances to
NGOs help foster interest in Colombia
among local U.S. groups and communities.
International Mediation and Peacemaking in El Salvador
and Nicaragua: Europe vs. the United States
U.S. fear of “the spread of communism” influences its strategy in El Salvador and Nicaragua
U.S. channels large sums of military assistance to the El Salvador military to battle the FLMN and
to anti-communist forces (Contras) in Nicaragua to overthrow “Sandanistas.”
U.S. policy follows the “domino principle” theory, i.e., as one country turns to communism, its
neighbors will follow
U.S. uses pretext of arms flow between Nicaragua and El Salvador to develop hard line
European countries (France, Germany, Spain, and others) support the Sandinista Revolution as
a positive step for Latin America
Europe fears Soviet military aid to Central America could threaten a Europe/Soviet confrontation
Europe encourages Sandanistas and FMLN to follow principle of non-alignment, thereby reducing
Soviet threat to Central America and Europe
Europe recommends mediation, social justice, and economic development in region—at odds
with the U.S.
The United Nations Takes on Prominent Role in Central American Peace Negotiations as
Europe and U.S. Actions Remain Ineffective
President George Bush replaces Reagan as
President and reduces Central American conflict as
a major U.S. concern.
Esquipulas Declaration in 1987 made by the U.N.,
the OAS, and El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala,
C.R., and Honduras agree to international
verification of peace process.
Human Rights violations reported by El Salvadoran
military, including the murder of six Priests. U.S.
ends military funding.
Military stalemate between El Salvador government
and FMLN make conflict ripe for negotiation.
U.N. secretaries-general de Cuellar and Boutros
Boutro-Ghali create negotiation team during 1990
Alvaro de Soto becomes chief negotiator for the
U.N. and representative of de Cuellar.
U.S. skeptical about FLMN participation and wants
to maintain El Salvador army as part of peace
negotiations, but relents.
U.N. enters two years of negotiations between El
Salvador and FLMN to iron out differences in each
Agreement reached in October 1992.
Direct European proposals for humanitarian peace
process fails to solve conflict, but cautions and
weakens U.S. hard-line policy.
Insufficient democratic processes among El
Salvador politicians to negotiate with FLMN; FLMN
insists it’s fighting for social justice; Creates local
vacuum in negotiations.
Peace plan introduced by President Arias of Costa
Rica and President Cerezo of Guatamala in 1987
encourage U.N. to serve as negotiatior.
Ten Principles for Successful International Negotiation Recommended by
Alvaro De Soto, Chief U.N. Negotiator in Central American Conflict
Inclusivity: All warring parties are included
Unity and integrity of mediation
Eliminate preconditions during negotiation
Continuing the war by other means during
negotiations is unacceptable
Mediator should develop “friends” who will
Discourage rival mediators during process
Avoid collective mediation
Use caution with mediators with stakes
Create reasonable deadlines
Beware of quick fixes or unfinished
Negotiation of a deep-rooted conflict
using force does not bring peace
De Soto’s basic advice for international
• Just because something is obvious doesn’t
mean it’s not important.
• 50% of negotiation is having every participant