Just before World War II, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain talked about “peace in our time.” He was wrong, of course. But maybe now we’re halfway there.
August 29, 2016 was the official start of a ceasefire in Colombia between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as the FARC. Thus (hopefully) ends a conflict that had begun 1964 and had claimed the lives of about 220,000 people. It’s a significant milestone.
But what’s equally significant is with that ceasefire, half the planet — our half, the Americas, home to a billion people — is now free of war. Not that there is no conflict; there’s plenty of violence still to be found. But conflict in the sense of fighting between countries, or between a government and an organized, armed opposition, has now ended in this hemisphere.
Will it continue? Latin America is still mostly in the Third World with all the problems of developing nations. But military strongmen seem to be a thing of the past and democracy is on the rise. And if the U.S. and Cuba can renew ties, anything is possible.
Maybe we’re making progress after all.