Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies

First Advisor

Carolina Castellanos Gonella




For over 70 years the Colombian government has struggled with legitimizing its rule over the entirety of its dominions. Whether enveloped in a civil war (1948-1958) or battling transnational organizations like insurgency groups or drug-trafficking organizations, the South American nation has been riddled with instability. As such, Colombia has spent the last 50 years battling and negotiating peace with various insurgencies such as the FARC, ELN, M-19, and EPL, among others. Having attempted numerous peace agreements for 36 years, the Colombian government has either succeeded in or failed to achieve peace with guerilla organizations.

This monograph will use three consequential Colombian insurgent peace agreements from 1984, 1990 and 2001 to uncover an effective peace agreement strategy within Colombia. The failed 1984 and 2001 FARC agreements along with the successful 1990 M-19 accord have taught lessons for other peace process within the country, most notably, the recent 2016 Colombian Peace Agreement. Furthermore, these three official peace agreements allow me to argue that a combination of an impartially supervised ceasefire, voluntary disarmament and protected reintegration process produces the most effective strategy in Colombia for enabling a successful insurgent peace agreement. As such, the success of these agreements is vital to preserving peace in a country that has already experienced the loss of hundreds of thousands of individuals and the displacement of millions more.